Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I've heard and read that verse many times, but yesterday I was thankful when I read that verse! Thankful because I was reminded of the days when people had to offer burnt offerings as a sacrifice as they sought forgiveness for their sins. I was thankful that we don't have to do that! Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice when He died for our sins upon the cross. I was thankful I don't live in a country where people think they need to hurt themselves or make a big public display when they commit a sin and seek forgiveness.

When I read this verse, I just thought how EASY it was to have our sins forgiven. All we need to do is confess our sins! OK, I know admitting we sinned and did something wrong can be quite difficult at times; however, what we receive in return makes it all worth it! We receive TOTAL forgiveness! How many times has someone told us that they forgive us, yet they keep reminding us of what we did wrong. God does NOT do that! He forgives us and forgets it. He will NEVER remind us of our past failures and sins.

Our worship team leader gave an illustration that fits perfectly with this. She said she envisioned a man standing alone. He could hear God's voice, but he couldn't see Him. She then saw that God's voice was coming from behind this brick wall that surrounded the man. On each brick she saw a sin that this man had committed: unforgiveness, hatred, lust, etc. Those sins were what was separating this man from God. She then saw the other side of the wall, the side that God was looking at. On every brick was written "FORGIVEN". This man was looking at all the things he had done wrong, yet God had already forgiven him for all those things! He simply needed to tear down that wall so that he could be close to God!

Are there sins in your life that Satan keeps reminding you of? Have you already asked God to forgive you of those sins? Then you ARE forgiven! You can tell Satan that you are no longer bound by those sins because God forgave you from them and He has forgotten them! If you have unconfessed sins, all you have to do is confess them to God and you will be forgiven! Don't build a wall! Tear it down! Draw close to God.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just had to share!

We went to the Palmer Park Mall last night to go to Dairy Queen. We had a "buy one blizzard, get one free" coupon and if you are like me, you just can't let one of those coupons go to waste! I saw they had a Boscov's there and since we had a gift card to use, we went in to look around. I saw they had digital cameras on sale so I looked at them and decided to buy one that was on sale (one we could actually afford!), but they told me I couldn't use the Boscov's gift card there because the place selling the cameras is actually a Ritz Camera Store that just rents the space in Boscov's. CRUD! So I reluctantly said I didn't want it after all then and we kept looking around. We found a set of cook wear on sale, so I used the gift card on that and spent a whopping $8.00 for a 10 piece set! Bob knew how much I've wanted a digital camera though so he said as long as we could pay for the camera when the bill came, I could go ahead and buy it! So I bought myself a Christmas gift! I know there are many digital cameras better than the one I bought (Olympus FE-310), but this one fit our budget and does what I need it to do...take nice pictures! I'll have to learn more about the various functions it does because right now I just keep it on the AUTO setting! LOL!
The saleswoman actually suggested we buy rechargeable batteries for it because she said it will use regular AA batteries very quickly and that will save us some money. I also read the instructions book and saw I could use the camera without a memory card (it would just save the pictures on the camera's internal memory), but I wanted to be able to print off pictures OCCASIONALLY at Wal-mart and I'm pretty sure you need a memory card to do that. So I went to and looked at what they charge for a memory card and rechargeable batteries. I knew I had about $50 in gift certificates that I could use toward the total cost, so my price for a 2 GB memory card and 2 packs of AA rechargeable batteries (total of 8 batteries since there were 4 in a pack) came to...are you ready for this?.....NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEEHAW!! Now I can post pictures more frequently on here if I want to! Yup, that picture at the beginning of this post is one of the pictures I took today with my new camera! YEAH!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Patient Endurance"

My daughter and I have been working our way through the book of Revelation. I noticed something the other day and today seemed like the perfect day to write about it. The last sentence in Revelation 13:10 says "This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." Revelation 14:12 says "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." I guess I noticed the verse in chapter 14 because I realized it was so close to one I had just read the day before, in chapter 13. God has a really cool way of pointing things out to us when we miss it the first time!

As I've been reading about all the horrible things that the world is going to have to face during the end times, I am constantly reminded that Christians don't need to fear the end times because we know we are on the winning side! That doesn't mean the end times are going to be easy for us! The persecution and other difficulties are going to be very hard and the true Christians will be weeded out from those who call themselves Christians but haven't given their entire lives over to God. We very well may be faced with having to make the decision to die for our faith or having to watch our loved ones die for their faith. True Christians will know that no matter what happens, we need to stay faithful to God and not turn away from God when things get rough or dangerous.

It seems impossible to think of being patient during a long period of persecution, but we have the assurance that we have an awesome reward waiting for us if we successfully endure those times. No matter what happens, we know that one day we will be in heaven for all eternity with our Lord and Savior. That is something Satan cannot take from us! He may try to harm our physical bodies, but he cannot harm us spiritually. Our physical bodies may die, but our spirits will live forever with God! One day (and I belive it is going to be soon!), we are going to see our Lord! We are going to be able to bow down and worship the One who died for us so that we could live with Him in Heaven for all eternity. Now that's something to be thankful for!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be an Overcomer!

It is truly awesome how the Lord directs us in the way we should go if we are just listening to Him! The past few months, I have been reading books of the Bible that I felt God telling me to read. First, I read Proverbs because our pastor encouraged us to read one proverbs every day. Since there are 30 chapters, he said to read the chapter that is the same as the date. I didn't actually start doing it the first time the pastor said to do this, but I finally started to do it because I just kept hearing God saying "Read Proverbs!". After I read Proverbs, I felt the Lord urging me to read the book of Psalm so I began reading there. As I finished reading Psalm, I felt the Lord tell me to read James. As you know, I learned a lot in those few chapters!! I knew as I was reading through James, I was having an urge to read the book of Revelation next. About an hour after I had read the last chapter of James, my daughter told me that she had decided to start reading Revelation because I had mentioned something to her about Revelation talking about the last days. I knew immediately that God had started working on my heart to read Revelation so that I could help my daughter understand it better! I knew if I left it up to her, she'd read it through as fast as she could and miss A LOT. So every morning we both read the same chapter in Revelation separately and then she comes into my room and I read to her what my study Bible has to say about that chapter. I'm really looking forward to what God is going to do in both of our lives as a result of doing this together!

Today we read Revelation 3 and a few verses really stood out to me. Verse 5 says "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." WOW! How exciting is that to know that Christians have the assurance that Jesus Christ HIMSELF will introduce us to GOD! I know some Christians believe in "onced saved, always saved" while others believe that you can lose your salvation. I'm not going to get into that, but I mention it because I thought of that as I read this verse. I reread it and saw "He who OVERCOMES..." and I just felt the Lord reminding me how I need to overcome whatever I have to face and be faithful in serving Him if I want to receive the full inheritance God has for His children. Near the end of Revelation 3, there is another verse that I will add bold print to, and I'm sure you'll see why! Verse 21 says "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." Another awesome promise....if you are an overcomer!! Can you imagine it?! Sitting with Jesus on his throne?! WOW! I have chills again as I type this!!

Life on this earth isn't easy, but we have an awesome promise of what is to come if we will just give our lives to God and trust Him throughout all of life's difficulties. I want to be an overcomer! I want to hear Jesus tell God that He knows me and invites me to sit with Him on His throne! I just want to SEE Jesus and say thank Him for being willing to be an overcomer as well. He didn't have to die for me, but He that I could have the chance of going to heaven too! As Christians, we are to be "like Christ". So if Jesus could be an overcomer and DIE for us, then I think the least we can do is be overcomers by doing whatever He tells us to do and trusting Him 100%.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is in Control

God is so awesome! As I listened to the election results last night, I began to have this sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach and fear for my country started to creep in. I closed my eyes and just heard the Lord say "It's going to be OK. I'm in control." I went to bed, but awoke this morning feeling anxious again about the whole thing.

I picked up my Bible and began to read the last chapter of James. I literally got chills when I read James 5:8. That verse says "You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." I got chills again when I wrote it down in my journal, when I shared this verse with my kids this morning, and when I just wrote it down here! My Lord is coming again SOON!

That thought of course struck a little bit of fear in me because I feel so unprepared for His return. I have been struggling with my temper lately, as I have mentioned in previous posts. The cool thing is that I KNOW the Lord pointed this out to me and that He's helping me. He KNOWS I am working on it and He is being so very patient with me. It has just been such an awesome experience the past few weeks/months HEARING the Lord speaking to me and teaching me things! I know I have accepted the Lord as my personal Lord and Savior, but it just seems like Satan wants to get me to doubt my salvation. The Lord reminded me this morning as I was sitting there with a bit of fear as to whether I was truly ready that because I have accepted the Lord as my Savior, I can have the confidence of knowing that I WILL go to heaven when the Lord returns.

As if all this wasn't cool enough, the Lord has one more awesome thing to add to my devotional time this morning. I actually had gotten up a little early this morning and decided to start doing my devotions since I just felt so uneasy upon awakening. I read James Chapter 5 and was almost finished writing in my journal when the radio suddenly came on. I have my "alarm" set for 7 am and at that time the radio comes on so I can wake up to music (or occasionally the talking of the DJs) instead of an obnoxious alarm. Well, I know it was NO coincidence what song was playing when the radio came on this morning! The song that was playing was "God is in Control" by Twila Paris! I had to stop what I was writing because I immediately started to cry and praise the Lord for how awesome He is!

So take heart my friends! Our God is in control and He is coming again SOON! There may be some difficult times ahead, but we can rest in the assurance that we serve a mighty God and He knows everything that is in store for us. He isn't going to leave us. We just need to put our trust in Him and keep having faith because He knows exactly what needs to happen before He can return. I'm ready Lord!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Kind of Teacher am I?

Saturday morning when I picked up my Bible to do my devotions, I was a bit stunned when I read the very first verse. James 3:1 says "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." I just about stopped reading because my brain was filled with wondering whether God was telling me I shouldn't be homeschooling my kids! Luckily, God reassured me that was NOT what He was telling me, but that He was trying to teach me something. I thought to myself "OK, this is gonna hurt!", but I kept reading and then picked up my journal and started to write as God made it clear to me what He wanted me to learn.

God brought to mind the verses He had pointed out to me just a few days earlier. James 1: 19-20 says "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." I knew the other day God was letting me know that I REALLY needed to do a much better job of watching what I say and how I say it. I have been letting the daily frustrations get to me and the way I have been reacting and the things I have said have not been very nice, and they certainly were not pleasing to God. I sought God's forgiveness and renewed my desire to be a Godly example to my kids in everything I say and do, but especially when I find myself getting frustrated or angry! How will they know how to react in an acceptable manner if they don't see me acting appropriately and setting a good example for them? I know I can't do it in my own strength, which is why I'll be praying for God's wisdom and strength each day.

In light of what God had been teaching me the past few days and weeks about guarding my tongue and not being easily provoked, I was able to see where God was headed when I read James 3:1. I am going to be judged more strictly because I am having a huge influence on my kids. I am teaching them right from wrong and having a daily influence on how they should act based upon what they see and hear ME doing. I have asked my kids to forgive me as well. I have to hope and pray that they forget the things I have done wrong and only remember the good!

Lord, forgive me for the times I have allowed my frustrations to get out of control. Forgive me for the unkind things I have said during those times. Remind me when I am reaching that point, to walk away or count to 10 or do whatever it takes to get my thoughts and emotions in check before I speak even one word. I want to be a teacher that my kids remember all their lives and strife to be like! I want to hear you say to me "Well done though good and faithful servant!" and know that my kids are going to hear that too when they stand before you! Help me to be more like you each and every day so that when someone says "your kids are just like you", I can take that as the best compliment in the world!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Say What?!

The other day I finished reading the book of Psalm and I wondered what book of the Bible I should read next. The name "James" popped into my mind so quickly that I literally said "OK God, the book of James it is!". As I opened my Bible this morning to James, I noticed there were many verses in Chapter 1 that were underlined. I quickly realized that God definitely had told me to read James for a reason and I was excited to see what God wanted to teach me. There is definitely a lot to "chew on" in chapter one so I decided that I'm going to spend a few days at least just reading the chapter over and over again and focusing on each verse, one at a time.

There were two verses though that stood out at me this morning. I was journaling about the first one, God showed me how the second one related to what He was trying to show me. I just love when God does that!! James 1: 2 says "Consider it pure job, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds". Now I know this verse continues in verse 3 that "the testing of your faith develops perseverance", but I was focused on just what it said in verse 2. How many times do I praise the Lord or am even just happy when I am faced with a trial? hmm...probably...never! The Lord brought to my mind how frustrated I can get with teaching my kids at home. The first thing I thought of was that I should be happy that I even have the opportunity to teach my kids at home! I know that in my frustration, I don't always say the nicest things. That thought led me right to the other verse that stood out in my reading. Verse 26 says "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." OUCH!!!!! That was like a knife straight through the heart! God definitely was letting me know that I have to watch what I say because my Christian witness depends on it!

This may just have been verses that God was using to speak to me, but I also felt like I needed to share it on I'm being obedient and typing this out for everyone to see. I know it is hard to be thankful for the trials that come your way, but we know that God will teach us something through those trials and for that we can be thankful. I also know it can be very hard to watch what comes out of your mouth when frustrations are at their peak, but we must keep in mind that someone is always watching us. If we claim to be Christians, our actions AND our words must always point others to Christ.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ask Him!

As most of you can probably tell, I've been reading through the book of Psalms for the past few months. Last Thursday, I went to worship team rehearsal and discovered that our worship team leader had decided that our worship team was going to read through the book of Psalms together. We are going to do one chapter every Thursday night before we begin rehearsals.

Tomorrow we will be on Chapter 2 so I decided to do as our worship team leader asked and read the chapter ahead of time. I guess I figured that I was going to be able to share a lot of what God had shown me the past few months as we worked through the book together, but God showed me that my plans were not His plans!

I didn't have any verses underlined in Chapter 2 and as I started to read, I thought that this was probably one of the chapters where none of the verses really jumped out at me and I wouldn't really have much if anything to share. Well then I read verse 8: "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possessions." It was almost like God shone a light on that verse this time around!

Even though this verse is speaking to kings, I knew God was speaking directly to me. I thought of all the times when I don't think something is that important so I don't bring it to God. How can God give us the desires of our heart, if we don't tell Him what they are?! Yes, I know God knows everything. He knows our hearts and He knows our thoughts, but He also tells us to ASK HIM for what we want. I pictured God sitting up in heaven on His throne, knowing exactly what is on our hearts, and yelling "ASK ME FOR IT!!!!" God WANTS to give us so much, and all He wants us to do is ask Him for it!! Now I know I can't say "I want a million dollars God!" and it will magically show up, but I know that I can and should tell God the desires of my heart because then He can give them to me in His time if it is in His will.

So don't just hold in all those hopes and dreams, tell God about them! Ask Him to give them to you! Then don't be surpised when they start to come true! God is our loving, heavenly father. He is just waiting for you to ask Him for what you want/need.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As I mentioned in my previous post, our pastor has been doing an awesome serious about "Trusting Steadily, Hoping Unswervingly, Loving Extravagantly". It can be a challenge to trust, hope, or love at times. It becomes an even bigger challenge to trust STEADILY (free from change, variation, or interruption; uniform), hope UNSWERVINGLY (constant, steady, not veering or turning aside), and love EXTRAVAGANTLY (going beyond what is deserved or justifiable).

I included I Corinthians 13 in this post because in order to love extravagantly, you need to know exactly what love is. Go back and reread I Corinthians 13: 4-7, but replace the word "love" or "it" (where it refers to love) each time with your name. OUCH! I definitely can't say that I'm able to do all of those things all the time. I definitely struggle with patience and not being easily angered. As a mom to a very strong-willed daughter and a hyber little boy, I don't seem to have any patience some days and I can get angry way too easily.

I have been challenged these past few weeks to get better at living the way God wants me to. Unfortunately, Satan knows it! He's been throwing a lot of stuff my way and I hate to admit it, but I have failed miserably quite a few times this week. However, I'm NOT giving up! I know what I need to work on and am determined to succeed at getting better. I know I can't do it in my own strength. I need to ask God each day for help, which I admit I haven't always done. I'm sure you already know this, but I'm going to say it anyway: I'm not perfect!! I need God's help each and every day to help me react in a Godly, Christlike manner! I know it is going to be hard; but I know with God's help, I CAN DO IT!

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Record

Our pastor has been doing a series entitled "Trusting Steadily, Hoping Unswervingly, Loving Extravagently". I Corinthians 13 was running through my head this morning and I thought that I was going to write about that, but I think I'll do that tomorrow now (or sometime this week hopefully!) because I think God wanted me to write something different today. I picked up my Bible to do my daily devotions and started to read Psalm 130. Well I didn't get very far before a verse leaped off the page and I just knew that God had led me to a topic for today's blog.

Psalm 130: 3 says "If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?" As I already mentioned, I was already thinking about I Corinthians 13 so I instantly thought of verse 5 that says "love....keeps no record of wrongs". It is not easy to forget when someone says or does something that hurts us. It's easy to hold onto that "sin" so that we feel justified by our attitude towards that person. What about me though? Am I perfect? Obviously the answer to that is a huge NO!!!!!!!! Have I ever said or done something to hurt someone else? Whether it was intentional or not, sadly my answer is YES. What right then do I have to hold it against someone who has hurt me?

Thank God that He doesn't hold our sins against us! Thank God that He has FORGIVEN us and doesn't remember our sins! I need to daily ask God for His forgiveness because I know I still say and do things that are not pleasing to Him. I try to ask for forgiveness right away when I know I said or did something that hurt someone or just plain wasn't nice, but I'm sure there are things I don't know were taken the wrong way. I was just really impressed this morning to write about this because it is something God seems to be reminding me forgive and FORGET when someone hurts me because HE has forgiven and forgotten ME for what I've done!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where Does My Help Come From?

Psalm 121: 1-2 says "I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." When I first read that this morning, I pictured myself standing in a valley with mountains surrounding me. Those mountains are obstacles to me. How can I possibly get out of this valley? How can I possibly make it over those mountains? HELP!!!! Then I realized that my God created those mountains! He knows every foothold, nook, cranny, ledge, etc. that will help me to successfully make it over those mountains! He can show me exactly what I need to do to make it safely over the obstacle that was before me. All I need to do is ask Him for His help!

Psalm 121: 7-8 says "The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." WOW! What an awesome promise!!! It doesn't matter what obstacle I may have to face today or in the future. My God is going to be right there beside me EVERY time!

I don't know what you are going through. I don't know what obstacles you are going to have to face today or in the near or even distant future. I do know that God is going to be with you, so I know that you can make it over (or through) any obstacles that come your way! All you need to do is ask Him for His help.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

No, I Didn't Forget about My Blog

I know I don't have too many people who read my blog (that I know of anyway), but I figured I better get back on here and write something so you don't think I fell off the face of the earth or disappeared into thin air or something! Life has just been extremely busy since school started back up. Sarah is in 4th grade this year and cyberschooling her hasn't gotten much easier in our second year doing it! I'm also trying to get Micah prepared for school since he will be in kindergarten next year. ACK! When did he get that old?! I'm teaching him the letters of the alphabet so that he can recognize them as well as how to write them and what sound they make. He is doing pretty good with recognizing most of the letters as well as what sound they make! There are a few that he just can't seem to grasp though, which has proven to be very frustrating for me when I have remind him "this is a J" for the billionth time!

I read Psalm 118 the other morning and discovered there are 3 songs that came to mind as I read through that chapter. Verse 1 says "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Well of course that immediately set me to singing the song "Forever". I'm sure you know it; but if not (or if you just aren't sure), it is the sixth song on my playlist, as sung by Michael W. Smith. Verse 24 says "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Well now I was singing that little chorus, which I haven't heard in a LONG time so it was kind of neat to be reminded of it! The first part of verse 26 says "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord", which again reminded me of a song I haven't heard in a little while! Verse 29 is the last verse in that chapter and it is exactly the same as verse 1, which I found to be kind of cool!

Obviously it was hard to concentrate on reading the whole chapter with all those songs popping into my head; however, one verse did grab my attention. Verse 14 says "The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." I put in bold the part of that verse that just made me smile. I don't think I would have ever thought to say the Lord is "my song" if someone asked me what the Lord means to me, but that truly would be a very fitting thing to say considering my love for music and the fact that singing is such a big part of my life. It is so easy to worship the Lord when I sing or just listen to certain songs. As I type this, I am listening to the songs on my playlist and have had to stop quite a few times to just raise my hands and worship the Lord. I want the Lord to truly be my song! I want to just think about the Lord and feel the way I do when I am listening to praise music and am ushered into His presence through the words and music of those songs. I have a feeling I would be a much calmer person if I focused on worshipping the Lord and all He is, especially during all those stressful times that come along! I am going to work on that!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yesterday my husband asked for my help. He asked me to hold a wrench that he had clasped onto the top of a faucet so he could use another wrench to try and loosen the metal part of a hose that was attached to the faucet (it was the faucet and hose that supply cold water to the washing machine) . I am truly sorry for not knowing all the proper terms for these things; but hey, I'm a female! What else do you expect?! LOL! The metal part of the hose was stuck firm to the faucet and could not be twisted off by hand, so my husband had been trying to turn it with a wrench; but the pipe kept moving. He needed the whole thing to be held still so his strength could be solely focused on that metal part of the hose. At first I tried to just hold the wrench still, but I failed miserably. My husband of course frustratingly said "You have no strength!". I told him I was trying to hold it still, but I didn't want to push the wrench into the wall. I was afraid of putting a dent or hole in the wall, not that it really mattered since the wall was already dirty and the new washer and dryer would have probably covered any mark the wrench had put in the wall. He told me I HAD to do that, so he placed the wrench against the wall and told me to hold it there. It was amazing how easy it was to hold the wrench in place now and my husband was finally able to get the metal attachment of the hose to break free and get it off of the faucet.

This morning I read Psalm 105. Verse 4 says "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek his face always." I quickly remembered the event that had taken place yesterday and realized that I HAD to push the wrench against the wall because it offered support and therefore enable me to be "stronger" so the task was able to be accomplished. I couldn't push hard enough on that wrench alone. I NEEDED the support of the wall. I heard the Lord telling me today that He is my wall. I need to lean on Him in those tough times so that He can give me the support and strength that I need to make it through. I can accomplish whatever task comes my way if I rely on Him. How often do I first try to do things on my own, and in my own strength? WHY do I do that when the almighty God is just a prayer away?! He is there waiting to supply me with His INFINITE strength! All I need to do is ASK! So the next time you are faced with a difficult task, lean on God and His strength will enable you to complete the task!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Honesty is the Best Policy

As many of you know, we are a one income family. Finances are tight so we look for sales whenever we can. We went to the mall on Saturday to use some Chick-fil-A coupons. One coupon was expiring at the end of the month...and you just can't let a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A chicken salad sandwich go to waste!! It's against the law! Well, it is for us anyway! LOL!

After we ate our dinner, we decided to check if the Disney store had any of their T-shirts on sale yet for $5.00 each. My kids LOVE Disney movies so we knew they'd be able to easily find a shirt they liked with one of their favorite characters on it. Micah LOVES Cars and Toy Story stuff. He watched a movie the other week with Buzz Lightyear in it and ever since has been running around the house shooting his imaginary laser beam at imaginary enemies. Sarah LOVES every single Disney princess and anything that has one or more of them on it. We walked into the store and immediately saw they did have shirts for $5, but we also noticed other things on sale so we started to walk around. As we browsed through the store, I found some coats on sale that had different princesses on them. They were originally $29.50 and were marked down to $14.99. Last year I noticed Sarah's lightweight coat was overdue to be tossed in the garbage. How she manages to SHRED a coat is beyond me! Anyway, I knew when I saw these coats that one of these would be just perfect for her. I picked one up that was pink and had 3 of the Disney Princesses on the back. Sarah fell in love with it as soon as she saw it in my hands!

We looked around to see if they had any coats for boys, but we were out of luck because they had none. Phooey! So we went back to the shirts and Micah picked one with Woody and Buzz and the gang as well as a set of 3 cars from the movie CARS. We put the stuff on the counter and the cashier asked us if we wanted to reserve a copy of Snow White which is out on DVD now for only a short period of time. Of course Sarah started to beg and we had to tell her we just didn't want to spend that much money on a movie. My husband paid the bill as he listened to what I was telling Sarah (who thankfully accepted what I was saying without fussing about it). Obviously, neither one of us really paid attention to the total as a result of being distracted by our kids.

We came home, got Micah into the tub for his Saturday night bath, put the kids to bed, and then I went online to play some game. After an hour or so, I remembered I hadn't taken the stuff out of the bag so I went to do that. That is when I happened to look at the receipt and knew immediately that something was wrong. They total was only $14.50! They had forgotten to charge us for Sarah's coat! Of course, the first thought to pop into my head was "Wow! We got a free coat!", but I knew that thought was not from God! I took the receipt to my husband and asked him "What's wrong with this receipt?". He looked at it and you could tell he realized immediately something wasn't right. He finally said "they didn't charge us for the coat." I sort of expected him to say something like "Oh well! It's not our fault they didn't charge us!" in a half-joking manner, but he said "Call and tell them." I was so proud of him!

I called the store and told the lady who answered that I had just noticed that we were not charged for an item. She asked "Was it in the bag?" and I said yes. I told her we were an honest family and wanted to do the right thing. I could tell she was stunned by what she was hearing! She said "Just a minute. Let me check with the manager what he wants to do, because I really don't know what to say!" She came back on the phone after a few minutes and said whenever we were in the area, to bring the item and the receipt in. She thanked me again and said "We aren't use to this happening!". We are going to be in that area today so we are going to take it in then. At least we don't have to make a special trip to the store and waste gas! I honestly think they will be surprised to see us because I sort of expect them to still be thinking we are not going to show up and pay for a coat that they forgot to charge us for!

I was looking forward to telling my kids this morning what happened! What an excellent opportunity for my kids to learn that honesty is the best policy! I talked to my kids separately because I wanted to hear what they thought we should do without being influenced by the other. I told Micah what happened and stopped at me finding out that we were never charged for Sarah's coat. I asked him what we should do and he said "Pray". I asked why and he just put his head down and said "I don't know." LOL! Actually I think he knew that what had happened wasn't right and he knows we are suppose to pray for forgiveness when we do something wrong. I explained to him that we need to take the coat back and pay for it because that's the right thing to do, otherwise it is sort of like we stole the coat because we would know it wasn't paid for (even though we left the store fully expecting to have paid for the coat!). I then asked Sarah what her first thought would be and I told her what happened, stopping at the same place I did with Micah. Sarah's response "Take the coat back." WOO HOO! She HAS learned something from us after all! LOL!

I let both kids know how easy it could have been to rationalize that "God knew we needed a coat for Sarah and we don't have a lot, so He blessed us with a free coat.", but we need to realize that is not the right thing to do. It's easy for people to go back to the store when they are overcharged. So why don't people do the same when the mistake is in their own favor and they are not charged for something? Everyone makes mistakes and it isn't fair to take advantage of someone's mistake just because it benefits us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't Be Stupid

Over the past week, we've been reading about the Israelites during our family worship. We read about how they saw first hand many miracles, and yet they still kept turning away from God. Ever since I first read the story of the Israelites in the Bible as a young girl, I remember thinking those people were so STUPID. How could they see all those miracles and yet still not believe that God was big enough to do ANYTHING? They were constantly complaining about something instead of being thankful for everything the Lord had done for them.

As I read the stories with my kids over the past week, the Lord started to speak to my heart. I can act just like those Israelites at times. I can see how many times the Lord has worked in my life and answered prayers, but I still worry and fret when I'm faced with a scary or difficult situation. When things are going good, it is easy to praise the Lord for what He is doing; but it is easy to complain and worry when things aren't going so well. I was faced with having to say to myself "How stupid can you be?!".

I know it can be hard when you are going through a difficult time to focus on all the good things God has done for you. It is also hard to try and see how God could be using the situation you are in to make you a better person. I know I need to try to always remember (especially when things are not going well) that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Let's not be like the Israelites and make the same mistakes they made! Don't forget God when things get tough. TRUST HIM! THANK HIM! PRAISE HIM! PRAY TO HIM! He's still there even when the good times aren't!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back To School

Sorry that I haven't been posting much. As many of you know, I homeschool my daughter Sarah using a cyber school. Well, school started this week! My son Micah will be starting kindergarten next year (WAH!!) so I decided I should start him on some preschool stuff to give him a bit of a head start (hopefully!) on school next year.

I've gotten a taste of what it is going to be like next year when teaching two kids instead of just one, and I've realized in just one week how hard it is going to be! I have been working on having Micah recognize and write his letters and numbers. Some days he is ready and willing to learn. Other days...not so much. He has known his alphabet for over a year, but he refused to say it the one day when I asked him to say it so he could find out what the letter was I was pointing to. Sarah has been testing me all week by not paying attention to what she's suppose to be doing and paying attention to what I'm doing with Micah. She has made a lot of stupid mistakes simply because she didn't read the directions or she wasn't paying attention. Can you say FRUSTRATING?!

Yesterday morning I did my devotions and then started to write in my journal. My frustrations with Sarah were heavy on my heart and I started to pour my heart out to God about it. I quickly discovered that God had a message for me! He calmly let me know that while teaching my kids is important, I need to make sure I am teaching them about what is truly important in life....HIM. As much as I try to do that, I know I have not been doing a very good job of being an example to them this week. Guess I need to go "back to school" too and start doing a better job of teaching my kids academically AND word AND actions!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't Give Up!

Our family has been enjoying watching the Olympics the past few days. I noticed in two swimming races, the commentators basically wrote off everyone else because they were so certain that a specific athlete was going to win the gold. I love to see an athlete who isn't expected to win have the race of their life and win a medal. I especially love to see an athlete win who is from a country who has never won a medal or rarely wins a medal. So it is safe to say that I was a little annoyed that the commentators were soooooo certain that a specific athlete from a specific country was going to win. I knew they might be right, but I also know that anything is possible in the Olympics! Both races had American athletes in them who, according to the commentators, would be fighting for silver or bronze because they didn't stand a chance at beating the athlete(s) from another country. I cheered our athletes on in spite of what the commentators were saying, and it was a THRILL to see the Americans win the GOLD in one race and the SILVER in the other!! The "winner" chosen by the commentators won the silver in the race where we won the gold. In the other race, the athlete who was supposedly going to win the gold placed 5th!

Yesterday I watched the U.S. men's gymastic team win a bronze medal. Many people (including other Americans!) had pretty much written the team off because they had lost a few of their regular gymnasts to injuries prior to the Olympics and they needed to call on the alternates to perform in the Olympics. Members of our team said they had heard so many times that they didn't stand a chance, but that made them more determined than ever to prove everyone wrong....and that's exactly what they did! What a thrill to see them accept the bronze medal in the team competition!

So why did I decide to write all that? I guess it was to let everyone know that you should NEVER GIVE UP! There will always be someone rooting for you, cheering you on, and having faith that you WILL succeed! Even if it seems that everyone around you doesn't have faith in you or doesn't care, GOD CARES!! He is ALWAYS on your side! He KNOWS you can do it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Be Steadfast

Psalm 57:7 says "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music." I thought I was drawn to that verse this morning simply because it talked about singing, and as many of you know by now, I LOVE music and especially singing! It is truly my passion and I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with that gift. I know there have been many times that the Lord has ministered to me through the words of a song. I am always in awe of how the right song will come on the radio just when I need it most.

After reading in Psalms, I decided to read my Proverb for the day. Proverbs 4: 25-27 really struck me today: "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

The first thought that came to my mind after reading those verses was to picture someone on a balance beam. Maybe God brought that to my mind because the Olympics will be starting at the end of this week. LOL! All I know is that it had to be from God because I am certainly NOT a gymnast and I wouldn't have thought of that analogy on my own! Anyway, I thought of being on a balance beam and how you have to make sure your feet are always placed directly on the beam. If your foot is off to the right or left just a little bit, it can throw you off balance and cause you to fall. Gymnasts don't need to even look down to know whether their foot has landed firmly on the beam or off to one side because they can FEEL the difference between the two immediately.

I then thought of how it says in verse 25 to look straight ahead and fix your gaze directly before you. I immediately thought about carrying a full glass of milk, hot tea or coffee, or any other beverage. I remember the first time someone told me that I shouldn't look at the glass I was carrying but instead I should LOOK UP so I could see where I wanted to get to. I thought they were crazy! I thought for sure I would spill stuff out of my glass, but I trusted the person enough to listen to them and try it. I walked right over to where I wanted to go and didn't spill a drop. Amazing!

After finishing my devotions, I decided that I wanted to look up the definition for the word steadfast to see exactly what it meant. I was fairly certain I knew what it meant, but for some reason I felt drawn to look it up. I decided I better listen to that little voice inside me telling me to get out the dictionary. Here are the five definitions that were listed for the word steadfast:

1. fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5. firmly fixed in place or position.

I almost had to laugh out loud as I saw how the verse in Psalms and the verses in Proverbs went together! We need to fix our eyes on the Lord so we can see where we are going. We will know if we stray off the path because it will feel different. As we walk on the firm paths and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we have the confidence and assurance of knowing we will not fall. This means our hearts as well are fixed on Jesus! No matter what comes our way, we can sing praises to our God because we know where we are headed and that He is with us all the way!

Monday, July 28, 2008

God's Hand of Protection

In the past two weeks, our family has experienced a few incidences that turned out to be great teachable moments for our kids to see God's hand of protection on our family.

On Thursday July 17th, we had gone out to run a few errands before eating dinner at Cici's Pizza (which just opened in our area a month or two ago but quickly became our favorite place to go!). As we were driving, we noticed the sky was quickly getting dark and knew a storm was about to hit...and boy did it ever hit! Once the floodgates opened, we were hit with a lot of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. We stopped at a traffic light on a heavily traveled road and I heard a sound that I can only describe as a "pop". My daughter thought it was thunder, but I said it didn't sound like thunder. I didn't want to turn around and look because we were driving into Allentown and the thought actually crossed my mind that someone may have just been shot! The light turned green and as we started to drive away, my husband commented that the car behind us was pulling off to the side of the road. I then wondered if the person had gotten a flat tire and that's what caused the weird sound. We finished what we had to do and as we came back down the road on the other side, we noticed the car that had been behind us was still off to the side of the road. As we drove past, we noticed there was a car behind that one with the front end all smashed in. It was then that we realized the car directly behind us at the light had been rear-ended, yet they never hit us! On this particular road, cars are usually very close to one another when they stop at lights so we knew that God had protected us. My kids envisioned an angel standing behind our car stopping the car behind us from hitting our car.

On Saturday July 26th, we went over to my parents' house to go swimming. We were swimming for awhile and my husband said "we should get going soon". For some reason, I allowed the kids to continue swimming for awhile longer. When we did finally get ready to leave, my mom said the kids could have some muffins she had made that morning. I didn't want them to eat them there since we hadn't eaten dinner yet, so I told them to pick which kind they wanted (she had made blueberry ones as well as chocolate chip) and I'd put them in a bag so they could eat them later. Micah couldn't decide which one he wanted, so my mom finally said to just take what was left (there were four...just enough for each of us!). We were just about to leave and my dad stopped us and said he wanted to give us some blueberries so I could make blueberry pancakes (since Sarah made a comment about wanting me to make them and I said I didn't have blueberries to make them with! LOL!). So we finally got going later than we wanted to, but we quickly discovered it was no accident that we had experienced those "delays"!

We had only driven a few minutes when we came upon an accident that had happened just minutes before. The police and rescue workers weren't even there yet! There were 2 cars car had an older woman in the driver's seat leaning out of her car with a stunned look on her face. The other car was a jeep. There were at least 2 male occupants that had been in that car. The one was lying face down on the side of the road and the other was walking around with blood all over his face and shirt. I almost got out to see if there was anything I could do to help, but I saw someone already had a cell phone calling for help and another lady was standing in the street directing traffic and telling us to go. I didn't want my kids to see anything that would give them nightmares so we continued to drive.

A few miles down the road, we saw why the police and other rescue workers hadn't arrived at that accident yet....they were already at the scene of another accident!! We had to take a short detour because they had the road blocked, but we came out at a light and could see the accident that had also occurred on the very road we travel home on. We noticed two rescue vehicles were headed towards the first accident we saw, so my kids and I all prayed for the safety of those involved in the two accidents as well as the paramedics, firefighters, and police that were responding to those accidents. This is something we always do when we see an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on, although my son usually prays for them even if they don't have their lights and sirens on!

When we finally made it home, I pointed out to Sarah specifically the various delays that had occurred before we left and that any one of those (or a combination of some of them) prevented us from being involved in one of those accidents. I then told Sarah a few stories of some close calls I have had in my life and when I was done she said "Now I KNOW God is real!" I couldn't help but smile and thank the Lord for His protection, and how it enabled me to teach my children more about God.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What? Me Worry?

Psalm 27:1 says "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" I know there are definite times in my life that I find it hard to NOT worry about a situation. What an awesome thing to realize that we don't need to be afraid of anything!

The Lord is my light: I don't have to stumble around wondering whether or not I'm following the right path. All I need to do is seek the Lord and He will make it clear! He will show me the way to go. He is the light I need in the dark times. I have the promise that He is always with me!

The Lord is my salvation: First and foremost, He has forgiven all of my sins! I don't need to worry about what I did in the past or all my failures. They are forgiven....and forgotten! Praise the Lord!! He will save me from the snares the devil sets before me. I don't need to be afraid of what lies ahead because I know He will walk with me through it all!

The Lord is my stronghold: There are times I have faced things that I THOUGHT were too hard, but as a Christian I have the promise that He will NEVER let me go through anything that is too hard for me! He knows what I can handle, even when I don't believe it myself. There are times when the best thing to do is just rest in His loving arms. The Lord is always there to give me the strength I need to continue.

So the next time you are tempted to worry about something, remember that there is no reason to be afraid of anything that comes your way because the Lord is on your side! He will be your light, your salvation, and your stronghold. He is EVERYTHING that you need!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My husband has vacation this week. WOO HOO! We aren't doing anything very fancy because we couldn't afford it, but we are having fun and that's what matters anyway!

After church on Sunday, we went to the Lehigh Valley Zoo (it use to be called Trexler Game Preserve) with our good friends and their 2 boys who are Micah's age. We are members at the zoo so we didn't have to pay anything to get in. We had four free passes as well, just enough for our friends and their kids so they didn't have to pay either! To "thank us" for giving them free passes, they took us out to lunch.

Monday we went to McDonald's for lunch and allowed the kids to play in the play place for about 2 hours. After that, we went bowling. The bumpers came up when the kids bowled and went down when my husband and I bowled. I was the biggest loser! LOL! Oh well, it was fun anyway!

Yesterday we went to the airport to see my dad (or pappy to the kids) since he is a police officer there. My husband also works there so the kids got to meet some people their daddy works with and some their pappy works with. My dad drove them around the airport in the police cruiser so they could see the airplanes and stuff. He turned the sirens and lights on once, which made Micah just beam! Sarah and Micah got to wear police hats for a little while and they had little badge stickers so they were walking around pretending to be police officers. Micah usually says he is going to be a either a fireman or a police officer when he grows up. He is REALLY into firemen and fire trucks, so he was really excited to see a fire truck as we were driving around the airport. Sarah mentioned that I had promised Micah that one day I'd take him over to the fire house in town (it is right up the round from our house) and see if they'd let him sit in the fire truck (she remembers being put in the truck when she was little even though it scared her to death! LOL!). Well my dad saw the fireman coming out to get in the truck so my dad pulled in and asked if he would mind giving a ride to his grandchildren! The fireman said sure and you should have seen Micah's face just light up! I wish I had brought my camera!!! I bet you could have seen Micah's smile from a mile away! He was beaming from ear to ear from the second he got into the truck to the time he got back out! LOL! My dad said the next time we come down to visit, he'll see if he can get one of the firetrucks to spray water for Micah. I will DEFINITELY be bringing my camera next time!! The kids also got to meet the canine officer at the airport! Sarah was scared of the dog at first because he is big, but she soon warmed up to him. The dog loved the kids too and was constantly coming over to be petted or to sniff or lick them. The kids thought it was hysterical when pappy locked their mommy and daddy in a jail cell. After we left the airport, we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch and allowed them to play all afternoon. When it was time to pick prizes, it took quite a while for them to choose what they wanted; but they both finally settled on cotton candy (Blue for Micah and Pink for appropriate!) and a little rocket launcher. They had a blast shooting their foam rockets all over the house when we got home! It was a long, but extremely fun-filled day for the kids!

If the weather remains as nice as it has been all week, we are going miniature golfing today and then we'll probably go swimming at my parents' house. Thursday we'll need to do laundry to make sure we have enough clothes for the weekend so we may just play some games and stuff at home and have it be a more relaxed day.

Friday we are leaving to go up and see Bob's family. The two nights in a hotel will cost us more than we spent the entire week on everything else we did! Bob's niece has a little girl who is turning 1 on Saturday and they are having her party at Knoebels Amusement Park. The party doesn't start until 2 pm, but we're going to get there first thing in the morning and spend the whole day at the park with the kids. That should be a great way to end our vacation!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm Surrounded!

I noticed something really neat this morning during my devotions. I was reading Psalm 32 and noticed a word that was used in two verses. Verse 7 says "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." and verse 10 says "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him."

I immediately began to think about what it means to be surrounded. If something is surrounded, it means it is enclosed on all sides. It is hard to escape if you are surrounded. It is also hard for someone else to get to you if you are surrounded.

I realized that when we are in the center of God's will, we are surrounded by God. That is truly an awesome place to be because it makes it harder for Satan to attack us! Most people think that it is a bad thing when they hear someone yell "I'm surrounded!!" My prayer is that we ALL are able to say "I'm God!!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Tomorrow is the 4th of July aka Independence Day where we as Americans celebrate our freedom. That was on my mind as I opened the Bible to read this morning. The song "I Am Free" also came to mind (it happens to be the 11th song on my Playlist in case you wanted to listen to it). I then started to read and just had to smile at how the thoughts God had placed in my head before I started to read the Bible had prepared me for a particular verse that God obviously meant for me to take notice of while I read.

Psalm 25: 15 says "My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare." I read that and God let me know that the word "release" could be replaced with the word "free". I had to say OK God! I get it! You are trying to teach me something about freedom today! What do you want me to learn? Well here it is!

Where are most traps placed? Are they placed up high? No! They are placed on the ground so that a person or animal walks or steps into it. Many traps snap shut to prevent what was captured from escaping.

When we fall prey to one of Satan's snares/traps, it can be easy to focus on the trap and we try to get ourselves free. Many people have stepped into one of Satan's snares and they don't even realize that they are trapped! They are limited in where they can go because Satan has ahold of them. Some Christians may eventually be able to get out of one of Satan's traps, but it will take a LONG time. We also remain injured for a long time, which means we can be captured again easier because we aren't as strong as we were before.

What we need to do if we find ourselves trapped in one of Satan's snares is to immediately look to God for help. He can free us from the trap AND heal our wounds so we stay strong and can possibly avoid falling into that same trap again. We will be stronger after being freed from one of Satan's traps because we looked to God and allowed Him to free us from the trap. By allowing God to release/free us, our wound won't be as bad and it will heal quicker and easier than if we tried to get out of the trap by ourselves. By keeping our eyes on the Lord, we can also AVOID some of the snares Satan sets before us because the Lord will lead us around the traps.

So the next time you find that you have become ensnared in one of Satan's traps, don't look at the trap....look at GOD! Only He can truly free you from what ensnares you. For those of you who have been wounded by one of Satan's traps, look to God and ask Him to heal you. You will be truly free when you keep your eyes on God because He will never lead you into a trap!

Monday, June 30, 2008

I Trust You

I am so thankful that the Lord gave me Psalm 16:8 at the beginning of last week! In case you didn't read my last post, Psalm 16:8 says "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." That verse came to my mind often last week, and it gave me the strength I needed to make it through each struggle I had to face. I'm sure it will continue to come to mind in the coming days and weeks because there is definitely a spiritual battle going on in the life of someone close to me.

This person has been a Christian for a long time, but this person has been praying for a few things for a long time and has become frustrated that those prayers aren't being answered. It is so hard when we feel as if the Lord isn't answering our prayers, but I also know that sometimes God's answer is one we dont' want to hear. I told this person yesterday that sometimes God's answer is "No" and maybe that's the answer the Lord gave. "No" is a hard answer to hear and sometimes we just don't like it and/or don't want to accept that answer. Sometimes God's answer is "wait", but people often grow tired of waiting and either feel that the Lord is never going to answer their prayer or they decide to take matters into their own hands. It is during these times that we need to truly trust that God does know what's best even when it feels we can't take it any more.

Today I started to read Psalm 20. I was amazed at the first 2 verses which say "May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion." because that's exactly what I needed to hear! When I read verse 4 which says "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.", I really felt my heart struggling with a feeling of "WHY isn't that happening?!" I kept reading and had to smile when I read verse 7 which says "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." I just knew God was showing me that I just need to keep trusting Him in this situation.

You can't force someone to trust in God. It is something they need to do themselves. For now I will do what I can: I will trust God to answer the prayers of this individual in a clear way so that there is no way the answers can be ignored, and for this person to ACCEPT the answers God gives to those prayers. I will pray for the main situation that is causing this person to have so many doubts to be resolved quickly. Finally I will pray for that person to come to the realization to just keep trusting God and not lose faith.

I know some people know this, but God gave me words to my first two songs in April. The words to the first song have really been going through my mind a lot and I find myself singing it often. I know the Lord was preparing me for what was to come and I am in awe of His love for me! I have shared the words to this song with only a few people so far, but I just felt like I needed to share it here. I hope you all enjoy it. The title of this post is also the title of my song.


Sometimes it may seem
Like nobody cares
And even Jesus
Just doesn't seem there
But that's when your faith
Needs to take over
Just lift up your hands
And say to the Lord.

I trust you when life is easy
I trust you when life is hard
I trust you with my whole life
Because you gave your life for me.

Jesus never said
Life would be easy
But He did promise
To never leave you
So you can be sure
That He's always there
So praise the Lord and
Sing with assurance

I trust you when life is easy
I trust you when life is hard
I trust you with my whole life
Because you gave your life for me.

Trust in the Lord
with all your heart
and lean not
on your own understanding
in all your ways
acknowledge Him
and He will direct your paths

I trust you when life is easy
I trust you when life is hard
I trust you with my whole life
Because you gave your life for me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Don't Be Shaken!

This morning I picked up my Bible to do my devotions. I had a situation that was weighing heavily on my mind when I started to read, and the Lord seemed to light up the words to one verse in particular. Psalm 16:8 says "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." I immediately sensed the peace that only comes from God. It was just so awesome to feel the presence of the Lord letting me know He knows all about this situation and He is right there with me. I can rest in Him and know that He is in charge. I will NOT be shaken! It is so easy to worry and be fearful of what is unknown, but fear is not from God! We need to just give those fears to the Lord and then rest in His loving arms.

I also had a sense of guilt as I looked at the first part of that verse. Do I always set the Lord before me? How often do I try to just do things on my own? It seems that sometimes only when things get too tough to handle do I turn to the Lord for help. I was reminded that I should start every day with turning everything over to the Lord and asking Him to lead the way. If the Lord is leading the way, all I need to do is FOLLOW HIM because I know He will never lead me the wrong way! I know I'll still have to go through sorrows, trials, temptations, etc, but I can have the assurance that the Lord is with me and I do not need to be scared. There is no reason to be shaken when the Lord is in control! I know I will be able to handle whatever comes my way because the Lord is right beside me!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Love Music

I'm sure you will quickly notice a change on my blog. I now have music playing! YEAH! I absolutely LOVE music and I chose some of my favorite songs to put on my playlist. I'm impressed I was actually able to figure out how to do it! I hope you enjoy the songs I chose. The first song that is playing is the one I currently say is my favorite song. The FIRST time I heard it on the radio, I knew I just had to have the CD with that song on it. I must say that Chris Tomlin has so many amazing songs that my entire playlist could be filled with just his songs! I chose a few of my favorites that he sings, but I also included other songs by other artists.

The second song on the list has a special meaning to me. The first time I ever heard the song "I Want To Be Just Like You" was when our choir was learning it. I was pregnant and shortly thereafter suffered a miscarriage. It was a real struggle to sing the song at first, but the song took on a whole new meaning when I finally had a child. I hadn't thought of the song for a long time, but it immediately came to mind when we were going to have our son dedicated. I asked a good friend and her husband to sing this song, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the church. All I could do as they were singing the song was hold my precious little boy who we had tried for so long to have and thank the Lord for His faithfulness. I know I am not always the best example to my kids, but I try to be and I am not ashamed to apologize to them when I acted in a way I am not proud of. I can only hope that my children see Jesus in me and come to know, love, and serve Him the way I do.

You can stop the music if you find it distracting as you read (just hit the pause button on the playlist. I think it is the first button...the one with 2 vertical lines). I would encourage you though when you are done reading to turn the music back on, open a new window, surf the web or whatever you need to do, and just let the music play in the background. I hope these songs lift you up, encourage you, and help you worship our wonderful Lord.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Last night around 5 pm, I heard a weather report that a severe thunderstorm was headed our way and we were under a watch until 6 pm. I looked out the window and had a hard time believing a storm was coming because the sun was shining brightly! Within 15 min., the weather had changed drastically! The sky had grown black and the wind was blowing hard! Our lights flickered and the kids ran to get their little flashlights. I grabbed a flashlight and lit a candle just in case since the flashlight we have isn't always very reliable for staying lit very long. It turned out we didn't need to get any of those things because the wind died down and the dark clouds passed by within about 15 min. We didn't lose power at all. As I blew out the candle, I thought about why I had lit that candle in the first place. I had been preparing for the possibility of losing power. Why light a candle? So we could see in the darkness! If the lights had gone out, we wouldn't have been able to see much at all in the house. The kids don't like the darkness so the light would help to ease their fears.

What do we do when storms come into our lives? Sometimes we know a "storm" is coming so we can prepare for them in advance. If we know someone is very ill, we start to prepare for the fact that they are probably going to die unless a miracle takes place. Those storms don't seem quite so bad because we were able to prepare for them before they hit, but what about those storms that strike without any notice? When a loved one or especially a young child dies unexpectedly, is involved in a devastating accident or is diagnosed with an illness, things seem to grow dark very quickly. How can we possibly move forward? How can we see where to go and what to do next? We turn to God: our eternal light! It is in those darkest times that His light lets us know that He is there with us. We can even feel the warmth of His presence. If we look to Him, He will guide us through the darkness.

When things are going great in our lives, it can be easy to take for granted the fact that God is with us because we may not see His light shining as bright as it does when it is dark. When the storms hit, we are instantly reminded of the fact that God is there because we look for Him! Make sure your relationship with God is always strong so that when the storms hit, you won't have to worry about whether or not God is right there with you. His light will never go out and you can be sure that He will be with you throughout every storm you face.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Dad

Father's Day is coming up in just a few days so first of all let me say Happy Father's Day to the guys who may read this! I know some of the guys who read this may not be fathers yet and are wondering why I would wish them a "Happy Father's Day", but I said it to all guys because you do have an influence on children whether you know it or not. That being said, make sure you are setting a GOOD example for all the children who may be watching you!

Some children don't have much of a role model when it comes to a father. A child's relationship with their heavenly father may not be all it can be if their earthy father didn't set a good example of what a loving father is. I've been blessed with a wonderful earthly father who made it very easy to have a wonderful relationship with my heavenly father. I just love my dad more than words could ever say! I couldn't have asked for a better dad!

I have always looked up to my dad, and not just because he's so tall! My dad is a police officer and was always very protective of his three girls. When someone would be picking on us on the school bus, my dad didn't have a problem with coming onto the bus and setting the bully straight. Sometimes all he needed to do was stand out in front of our house in his police uniform. You could audibly hear the kids on the bus wondering who this big police officer in our front yard was, so we would gladly yell "DADDY!!!!!!!" as we got off the bus and run to give him a big hug. It was amazing how any bully was more than willing to find someone else to pick on after meeting or just seeing our dad!

Even though my dad is big and strong, he also is very gentle. We always knew how much he loved us, even when he needed to discipline us. He showed us what it means to be a loving father and a strong Christian. He persevered through many tough times and never gave up. Hmm...I wonder if that's one reason why I am so stubborn? That can be a GOOD thing when it means sticking to your beliefs and not backing down regardless of what people say about you, which I had to do a lot being a Christian in a public school!

On October 19, 2007, my dad went hunting like he does every year. As he was getting into the tree stand, he noticed the stand was loose. He started to climb back down to tighten the ropes, but the stand swung around and my dad fell 15 feet and landed on his back. He knew he had broken his back, but he had no idea whether he had any internal injuries. He didn't have his walkie talkie so there was no way of calling for help, so he laid there and yelled for help for over 4 1/2 hours with no response. He also did a lot of praying and singing during that time. Thankfully my mom has a strong sense of ESP and knew something was wrong when he wasn't home when he said he would be. My dad always leaves a note when he goes hunting letting mom know where he will be and when he'll be home. He always is home at that time or will call if he is tracking a deer and will be late. Mom was able to convince my uncle (dad's oldest brother) that something was wrong and he went out to look for him.

Just the fact that my uncle found my dad's car is a miracle since dad was hunting that day on someone's property that has MANY acres to it. My uncle thought dad had his walkie talkie with him and had been driving around calling him on it. He finally felt the Lord tell him to put the walkie talkie down, get out of his car, walk and YELL. So my uncle, who was wearing shorts and not dressed at all to be walking through the woods, started to walk into the raspberry invested area where dad's car was parked in front of. He walked for awhile and kept yelling, but he wasn't getting any response. He was just about ready to give up and call the police for help when he felt the Lord tell him to "go a little farther and yell again". My uncle obeyed, and my dad heard him! My dad said after laying there for over 4 1/2 hours not knowing if he was ever going to be found in time, the sound of his brother answering him "I'm on my way!" was the sweetest thing he had ever heard.

My dad wound up with 3 broken vertebra in his low back. At least one of them was a burst fracture, but all the pieces went away from the spinal cord. My father had no internal injuries and was NOT paralyzed after falling 15 feet! We all knew this was a miracle and we knew exactly who to give the praise to! Thank you God!! My dad spent just a few days in that hospital and he then was moved to a rehabilitation hospital. It was really hard seeing my dad who I had always seen as this big, strong guy being in so much pain and needing so much help. He use to walk a few miles a day, and now he was having trouble taking just a few steps. I was just thankful that he was alive and able to be taking those few steps!

God continued to answer our prayers and dad continued to get stronger. He was discharged less than a month after the accident...using just a walker to walk. How fitting that a few days later, we were able to celebrate his home! Dad had to wear a back brace for a total of 3 months. About 2 months after the back brace came off, he went back to work! It truly amazes me that my dad broke 3 vertebra in his back and was back to work as a police officer less than 5 months later! GOD IS GOOD!!

As Father's Day approached this year, I realized how lucky I am to still have my dad here to celebrate this day with him! I am so thankful that God watched over my dad that awful day in October. My dad is living proof that our God still performs miracles! I always knew my dad was special, and I'm so glad God still had a purpose for my dad to be here with us!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Life Is Truly Blessed?!

I'm sure by now anyone who has read my blog, or anyone who happens upon it and starts to read from the beginning, is probably wondering why I chose the title I did for this blog. Maybe you've wondered "How can she say her life is truly blessed when her neighbor next door is most likely a drug dealer and has given them trouble for over 6 years ago?" or maybe "How can she say her life is truly blessed when her sister died unexpectedly at the age of 28?" No, my life is not perfect. I've had to deal with trials and sorrows just like everyone else in this world. The difference is in how I deal with those things when I'm faced with them.

My life is truly blessed because I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! I know I can put my faith in Him because He is the creator of the universe so I know He knows EVERYTHING. He knows all about ME and what I'm going through. He is with ME every day! He loves ME! He died for ME! He gave EVERYTHING for me. I have never been alone when I faced these struggles in my my life. He has always been right there with me. I have the assurance of knowing that He always will be with me no matter what I may have to face in this life. Yes, I am truly blessed because I can call Jesus my friend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obey....the FIRST time!

Since September, my husband and I have been attending a parenting class at our church using the video series based on the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. The video series has Ted Tripp discussing the concepts he covers in his book. It only meets the first Sunday of the month, but it has been well worth our time! I have tried putting some of the stuff into practice, but it wasn't until this past Sunday that I really had my eyes opened to the importance of consistency when teaching your children to obey.

My daughter is 9 years old and is VERY strong-willed. She can be very mouthy and wants everything to be HER way. We have tried various forms of discipline, but nothing seemed to work for very long. I've come to discover much of that is MY fault because I was not being CONSISTENT with the discipline. I also learned that I should have been teaching her to obey me the FIRST time I said something. It was pointed out in the video on Sunday that kids learn real quick when to obey. I smiled when I heard "When mom gets to 3, then I'll obey." because I've used that counting method and have gotten results that way. However, I recently started telling my kids that if I said "3", it was too late. "When dad starts yelling, then I'll obey." may be another way kids decide when to obey. My kids seemed to think the best way to know when to obey would be "When mom starts screaming, the veins in her neck start to bulge, her face is beat red, and her eyes look like they are going to pop out of her head....then I'll obey."

Ted Tripp then made a comment that I may not get verbatim, but it was something like this: Why not teach your children to obey the FIRST time you say something? That's really what you want so why are we not teaching it? Those questions almost made me fall off my chair! Maybe I should have because I could have said OUCH! and the rest of the class wouldn't have realized I was saying ouch because of those questions and not because of the fall. (OK, maybe the ouch would have pertained to BOTH things then! LOL!). I realized immediately after hearing those questions that we had not been teaching our children to obey us the first time. I would give a zillion warnings to stop doing whatever it was our daughter (and now our son) was doing or I would just let it go because I was busy doing something else. Don't get me wrong, we still did plenty of disciplining. There were some days all I felt like I did was yell at my kids and/or discipline them! What I realized though was I needed to be CONSISTENT if I wanted them to learn how to obey me!! (DUH! How could I have been so stupid?!)

Ephesians 6:1-3 are the verses that the next analogy came from. Those verses are "(1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (2) Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise - (3) that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Ted Tripp said that we want our children to live "inside the circle". The boundary of the circle is HONOR and OBEY your parents. When children are within the circle, they experience "long life" and things "go well" with them. It is a path of BLESSING when children stay inside that "circle"! When children disobey or dishonor their parents, they move outside of the circle. This is a dangerous place to be! Would you want your child to be in danger? Of course not! In order to get our child back into the circle, we need to discipline them. It is because we LOVE our child that we discipline them. We want them to have long life and have things go well with them. We also want them to experience all the blessings that living "in the circle" brings...because when they are obeying and honoring their parents, they are obeying and honoring God!

I came home from that class determined to start showing my kids just how much I loved them. I explained to them that things were going to change and they were going to learn to listen the FIRST time I said something. I told them I wasn't being a very good parent because I had allowed them to disobey and dishonor me and hadn't punished them for it the first time. I would warn them too many times to stop what they were doing and then by the time I would discipline them, I was mad or angry and then I was sinning because I am not suppose to discipline out of anger! I explained to them about living "inside the circle", what happens when they disobey or dishonor their parents, and what needs to happen so that they can get back inside the circle. I also told them what Ephesians 6:1 says. My daughter already knew the verse, but my son didn't.
It only took 2 days for our son to remember what Ephesians 6:1 says. Micah doesn't know the verse verbatim like Sarah does; but when I ask him what that verse says, he answers "Obey your parents." That's good enough for me!

The first time Sarah disobeyed me after I had decided to implement this, I asked her what Ephesians 6:1 says and she angrily grumbled "obey your parents". I remained calm though and had her say it again (the WHOLE verse since I knew she knew it). I then explained how she was outside of the circle and that was dangerous. She needed to be inside the circle and because I love her so much I had to discipline her to get her back into the circle. She seemed to understand...and ACCEPT...that she needed to be disciplined, and she didn't give me any struggle or argument. I was SHOCKED! Now when I say to do something and my child (or children) don't do what I said, all I have to say is "What does Ephesians 6:1 say?". They both know when I ask that, they have to tell me what it says...and then immediately do what I asked them to do. Sometimes when they hear me ask that question, they will simply stop what they were doing and do what I asked right away.

So obedience means doing something the first time you are asked. I also learned on Sunday that obedience is to be done WITHOUT complaining, making excuses, or delaying. My daughter is infamous for using all 3 of those things when we ask her to do something! I'll hear "Do I have to?", "I don't want to!" or "I want ....!" when we ask her to do something she doesn't want to do. She also seems to always have some excuse as to why she did or didn't do something and why she shouldn't be punished for disobeying. "He did it first!" seems to be her favorite excuse. My reply to that use to always be "He is 4 years old. You are 9 years old and YOU know better!!" I also know I've heard "Just a minute!" or "I'll do it in a minute!" when I ask Sarah to do something. That is called delaying and is not part of obedience because your child is basically saying "I'll obey MY time."

I'm amazed how much calmer I have been in the past few days since I began disciplining the first time one of my children disobeys, rather than giving far too many warnings and becoming angry because they aren't listening. My daughter still tends to get mouthy, but I've been able to control my temper and tell her I'm not going to argue with her. She is dishonoring me when she talks to me like that and I'll remind her that she is not in the circle when she does that. I'll ask her what Eph. 6:1 says and she'll tell me. Then I'll ask her what needs to happen and why, and she'll tell me that as well. She still needs to work on her temper, but I'm confident that she'll learn that a lot better as long as I continue to keep MY temper under control.

Obviously my children have not suddenly become perfect angels who never do anything wrong. They still try to exert their own will, do stuff they shouldn't, fight with each other, etc. They do however realize that when mommy says "stop it", they had better listen the first time or suffer the consequences! I do not always give that warning. There are some things that my children know are not tolerated at all so they know they will be disciplined immediately if they choose to do one of those things.

I am fully aware there are different forms of discipline and not everyone agrees with all of them. I'm not writing this to try and force parents to all use the same form of discipline that we use. I'm writing this to encourage parents to teach their children to obey the FIRST time you say something, and then BE CONSISTENT with issuing discipline if your child does not obey you. As parents, we LOVE our children and it is out of love that we need to teach them things that they will need their entire lives. Disciplining my children is not something I enjoy doing, but I love my children with all my heart and I want them to grow up to be trustworthy adults.

If a child doesn't learn to obey his/her parents, how will that child learn to obey other people in authority? How will that child learn to obey GOD?! It is our job as parents to teach our children to honor and obey us so that they can then grow up to honor and obey those in authority and most importantly GOD!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Classics

This afternoon as I was making lasagna, I decided I wanted (needed?) to listen to some music. I went out and selected a Ray Boltz CD. When the music started, I realized this wasn't the Ray Boltz CD that I thought it was; but I decided to just keep it on since I really liked the first song. The CD I listened to is entitled "The Classics", and boy did God just bless me as I listened to each and every song on that CD!!

I'm sure most of the songs on the CD you've heard before, but some I haven't heard in a very LONG time. I guess the reason they are considered "Classics" is because they will bless you regardless of how many times you hear the song! The songs on the CD were Great Is The Lord; He's Alive; O Lord, You're Beautiful; Rise Again; I Wouldn't Go Back; Awesome God; People Need The Lord; Through It All; We Will Stand; If That Isn't Love; and The King Is Coming. I just couldn't help but praise the Lord as I sang along with each song.

I tried to get my two children to quit talking and playing so loud and listen to the words of the songs, but they just were more interested in what they were doing to pay attention. It didn't seem to matter though because in spite of all the noise (and the fact that I was putting the lasagna together), I was still able to focus on the words. I just couldn't help but worship the Lord! I had put the lasagna in the oven to bake and was washing the dishes when the last song came on.

The last two songs on the CD are ones I haven't heard in a very long time and both of them really spoke to me, but the last song brought me to tears...of happiness! I told my children that they had to stop talking, sit down, and just listen to this song again. I explained to them what the song was talking about, even though Sarah already knew because she had heard a few words in the chorus as it was playing the first time. I started the song again, and just stood there in our living room with my eyes shut. The tears started to flow again and it was only when Micah (my youngest) touched my leg did I open my eyes. He was standing there looking at me and quietly asked "Why are you crying mommy?" I told him they were happy tears because this song was about when Jesus comes back again and we go to heaven and see Him. He smiled and said "I want to go to heaven!" I sat down on the floor so Micah could sit on my lap and I rocked my son as I went back to worshipping with my eyes shut. I felt Sarah come over to cuddle up next to me too, but the tears were flowing again and I just focused on thinking about that wonderful day.

In case you don't know the song, these are the words to the chorus of "The King is Coming":

O the King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He's coming for me.

If you have Christian CDs or tapes that you haven't listened to in awhile, take them out and listen to them again. I especially encourage you to listen to ones that may have "classics" on them! Songs may be considered "old", but the messages found within Christian songs are eternal and will never be outdated!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stepping Out in Faith

Today I decided to take the kids for a walk and then go over to the park in town so I could let the kids play and take some pictures. Micah is all boy and just loves to climb all over the place. He usually wants to do everything that his big sister does, so I tend to watch him closely and tell him when there is something that he just can't do yet. Today for some reason, he didn't follow his sister everywhere. He was so busy climbing and running around and doing what HE wanted to do that I just stood back and watched what he could really do.

There is a pole that Micah always wants to slide down because he feels like a fireman then, but he usually has his daddy there to help him get onto it and gently hold on to him in case he lets go. Today he was busy doing everything on his own that I was a bit nervous when he went over to that pole; but he knew when he needed help because he looked at me and said "I need help mom!" So I held onto his waist and then told him to go ahead and lean over and try to grab ahold of the pole. I can remember when he was too small and couldn't reach that far, so it was a little bittersweet to see him reach out and grab that pole fairly easily. Then came the hard part....holding onto the pole, stepping off the platform, and wrapping his legs around the pole. I held onto him pretty good the first time because I was so scared he was going to let go of the pole and fall. He did pretty good though and then he started to slide down. I actually didn't even have my hands on him when he slid down that first time. I just had them REAL close in case he started to fall.

He was so proud of himself when I told him that I hadn't even held onto him as he slid down the pole! He asked for my help the next two times whenever it was time to step off the platform and wrap his legs around the pole, but the last time he didn't want my help. He wanted to try to do it all by himself. I still had my hands close by just in case he needed me, but he did everything on his own....except he slid down the pole a little too fast and didn't put his legs down on the ground soon enough. He bumped his upper lip on the pole when he hit the ground, but it didn't bleed or anything so I knew he was ok. He looked at me like it was my fault though, but I told him he did a GREAT job and just needed to remember to not slide down the pole quite so fast next time and he needed to look where he was going so he knew when to put his feet down.

As I sat here tonight thinking about our day, I realized how that "fireman's pole" is a good example of our walk with the Lord. When we are walking through trials, God is right there holding on to us and letting us know that He has us. Sometimes God asks us to step out in faith and do something we may not think we can do. "I need help Lord!" we may say, and He is always there saying "You can do this! I'm right here with you! I'll help you if you need it." It is so exciting when we take that step of faith and find out that we really could do a lot more than we thought we could! If we take our eyes off of where we are going, we can get hurt. Sometimes we may try to take things too fast and get a bit of a boo-boo. If we pay attention to God telling us when and where to go and keep our eyes fixed on our destination, we don't have anything to fear. We have the assurance that God is always right there beside us.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Little Drummer Boy

Edited: Here's the pictures!

My son is 4 years old, and absolutely LOVES the drums! We bought him his first drum, a plastic Little Tikes drum with plastic drumsticks that are attached to the sides of the drum so the child doesn't lose them, when he was 2 years old. Last year he decided he needed to have another drum because he wanted to have "real Cliff!" Cliff is the man who plays the drums at church. My son has always watched Cliff very closely on Sundays and will imitate whatever Cliff does. His plastic drumsticks were just no good anymore because Cliff had wooden ones, so that's what my son had to have too. So this past Christmas, we bought him a little drum with wooden drumsticks.

He really started to imitate Cliff then! One Sunday during worship team rehearsal, Cliff threw one of his drumsticks. A few days later, our son threw his drumstick. Why? Because Cliff did it of course! A few weeks ago, one of the ladies who sings on the worship team with me said to me "You do realize you are eventually going to have to buy him a drum set don't you?" to which I replied "I know, but we just can't afford it right now." I had looked at a set at Christmas time, but we just didn't have that kind of money to spend on it.

This morning as I practiced with the worship team before church, I had to smile as I watched my son "drumming" as he intently watched Cliff. He held out his two index fingers and used them as drumsticks as he drummed in mid-air, and every so often he'd hit his daddy. At first I wasn't sure why he would hit his dad, but I quickly realized he hit him every time Cliff hit the cymbal (or "the cush" as our son calls it....I assume because that's what he thinks they sound like when they are hit so whenever he is drumming and he wants to pretend to hit a cymbal, he yells "CUSH!"). I teased my husband afterwards that I saw he was "the cush" while our son was drumming and he laughed while he shook his head in agreement.

We came home from church, grabbed some lunch, and then left to do some shopping. A few hours later we returned and after putting everything away, we went upstairs to start getting the kids ready for bed. My husband realized he forgot his electric screwdriver outside the night before so he quickly went downstairs to get it. We knew it hadn't rained last night so it should be ok, but we weren't sure it would still be there since we live in town and our backyard is not fully fenced in at the back so anyone can come into our yard if they really wanted to steal something they saw. Well my husband opened the back door and was surprised at what he found right outside the door on the top step: a dark blue (our son's favorite color!) drum set, complete with a little stool for him to sit on!

My husband brought the drum set in and put it in the living room. Then he called our son down because he knew he just couldn't allow him to go to bed before he saw this! Our daughter came down first and my husband was quick to tell her to "BE QUIET AND DON'T SAY ANYTHING!" because he knew she'd ruin the surprise for her brother. So, she put her hand over her mouth when she saw the drums, most likely in an effort to NOT say something! LOL! Our son comes down, takes one look at the drums, puts his hand over his mouth (like he sees his big sister doing), and then finally gasps "Oh my!". He then quickly grabbed his drumsticks that he had from the drum we bought him at Christmas and started pounding away. The smile on my little boy's face was just priceless. I don't have a digital camera, so you'll just have to wait until I get my film developed to see pictures. Sorry! LOL!

There was no note so we are not sure who left it there for him, but we have a few guesses who it might have been. I am trying to find out who left it because our son wants to thank the person! He didn't want to quit playing, but he made sure to tell me he was going to play his drums tomorrow as soon as he gets up....and I have no doubt at all that he'll be up bright and early and ready to hit those drums! LOL! As I headed back down the stairs after putting him to bed, the last thing I heard my little boy say was "I love my drum set mommy!".

We live just down the road from a fire station. When my daughter was 3 years old, she was terrified of the fire alarm because it is really loud. It always goes off at noon, so I told her that was just the lunch whistle so that one didn't scare her any more. When it would go off other times, I taught her to pray for the firemen and whoever needed help. She quickly learned to not be afraid and to this day she comes running to pray with me whenever the alarm sounds. My son learned to do the same because he saw what we did every time the alarm sounded. He decided to take it a step further though...he will pray whenever he sees a fire truck, police car, or an ambulance. He initially started to pray if he saw one of them with their sirens and/or flashing lights on, but then he started to pray for them even if they didn't have their lights and sirens on. He is very quick to pray for me if I say I'm not feeling good. He truly loves Jesus with all his heart.

Tonight as I sat here thinking about how thankful I am to the person(s) who thought of our son when they saw this drum set and brought if here for him, a verse came to mind. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." As cute as I think it is that my son watches Cliff intently and does everything that he does, I want even more for him to look to Jesus and do what he knows God wants him to do. I just have to think that God wanted to bless our little 4 year old boy with a set of drums because He knows our son loves Him and He wanted him to have something that would make him happy. I feel so thankful and yes blessed because I know that it was a desire of MY heart for our son to have a drum set because I knew how much he would love it. Isn't it amazing that God loves us so much that He cares about the smallest details?!

In case the person who gave our son these drums is reading this: THANK YOU for allowing God to work through you and be a blessing to our family, especially our little boy! May the Lord bless you for your thoughtfulness!

To everyone else: Don't miss out on being a blessing to someone! Listen to that still, small voice that tells you to do something nice for someone. You may not think a phone call, letter, or even a gift may be much, but it may be exactly what that person needed at that time. How exciting to know that God sometimes uses US as an instrument to bless someone else! Be a blessing to someone today, and I know YOU in turn will be blessed as well!