Tuesday, December 29, 2009

God said it so BELIEVE it

In Hebrews 13:5, you find these words: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Since I'm a stay-at-home mom and my husband's one job is our only source of income, our finances are definitely not where we want/need them to be. It has been a real struggle at times to make ends meet. I almost had to laugh when I read "keep your lives free from the love of money" because for us it sometimes seems like we've kept our lives "free from money". LOL! It sure can be hard to be content with what you have, especially when you know that you need something but you can't afford it. We currently have just one vehicle, and that one probably isn't going to last much longer since it has over 130,000 miles on it and has been definitely showing signs of its age. I have seen though how the Lord has been faithful in meeting our needs. He always seems to provide for us when we need it most; and I truly believe that's because we've been faithful in praying about what we need and then doing our best to leave it in His hands and not worry about it. I'm not saying we never worry about finances because we do. My husband seems to worry about it more than I do, but I know that's because he wants to make sure he is taking care of his family and being a good provider. I'm so lucky to have him as my husband! When it's time for me to pay the bills, I often pray over the checkbook because I can see exactly where we're at and it can be scary! I don't want to give satan that foothold so I simply say something along the lines of "Lord, you know exactly what we need. You know we don't have much money left so I pray that you will continue to provide what we need. Thank you!"

Hebrews 13: 6 says the following: So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

I love the fact that it says we can say WITH CONIFIDENCE that the Lord is my helper! We don't need to be afraid of what may come our way. We KNOW that the Lord is WITH us! He KNOW He will NEVER LEAVE us! Since we know God never lies and always keeps His word, we know He will always do what He says He will do. Therefore, we can be certain that He will always be there to help us and we don't have any reason to be afraid! PRAISE THE LORD!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our God is an Awesome God

On Sunday morning, my husband Bob started our one remaining vehicle and we immediately heard a loud noise. We looked at each other and I asked "muffler?". Bob said he didn't know and then promptly asked "What did you do to it?" I was taken aback and said excuse me?! For those of you who don't know, this was the car (SUV) that I drove all the time, but he's been the one driving it for the last month since his car was the one who died. Anyway, in response to me wondering why in the world he was blaming ME for doing something to the car, he said "well you were the last person to drive it!" Well, I was VERY amused by that comment and smiled as I pointed out "YOU were the last person to drive it!" He looked at me with a questioning look, so I smugly pointed out that I had driven the car to worship team rehearsal on Thursday night...but HE drove the car to work on Friday! His face registered defeat and he muttered "well it wasn't making that noise when I parked it." LOL! Aren't husbands wonderful?

As we drove to church, Bob thought it could also be the catalytic converter...which he knew would cost us at least $200 to replace. With finances as tight as they are, we were both hoping Bob could be able to fix the car quickly and easily without costing us too much money! To top it all off, the car needed to be inspected this month and even though I had reminded my wonderful husband over 2 weeks ago to call and get an appointment, he "forgot" so he HAD to call and schedule an appointment to get the inspection done THIS WEEK. He pointed out that he wasn't going to be able to get the car inspected now until he got the car fixed, but I encouraged him to call on Monday and schedule the appointment anyway to assure that he could get in if indeed he fixed the car. Of course, I did tease him that if he had listened to me, the car would already have been inspected by now and he wouldn't have had to worry about that. LOL! When we got home, he checked the car and determined that it wasn't the catalytic converter (YEAH!) nor was it the muffler. A clamp that was holding 2 pipes together had rusted and the pipes were moving. The pipes were also quite rusted, so he knew he was probably going to have to buy them too.

He came home from work yesterday and the first thing he did was call to schedule an appointment to get the car inspected. His appointment was scheduled for the next day, so he knew he HAD to get the car fixed today (which was actually yesterday). Someone had told him that he would have to take the pipe off before he bought the parts because there is a part inside the pipes that may have gone bad as well. We were worried that if he took it apart, he wouldn't be able to get it back together because the bolts and stuff that had held the clamp had also rusted badly and he was afaid they were going to break when he tried to take them out. With no other car to use, we would need to find someone to run him to the place to buy the parts if he couldn't get it back together.

He was outside working on it for awhile and I suddenly decided that I needed to start praying about the situation. I prayed that he'd be able to get the car fixed, that he'd be able to get the pipes put back together to be able to drive and get the parts or that we'd be able to find someone who could be willing to drive him there, that God would give Bob the knowledge to fix the car and that he'd be able to remain calm and not get frustrated, and finally I prayed that the parts would cost under $100. I know car parts can be expensive and I knew Bob was going to need quite a few things. I felt that I needed to state the price that I wanted the cost to be under. I just kept hearing "ASK ME!" so I prayed earnestly for EXACTLY what I wanted God to do. I then called the kids down so we could all pray for daddy together. I told them what we needed to pray for and they each said a prayer, and then I prayed with my kids pretty much the same prayer I had already prayed alone. Seconds after we prayed, Bob came in and I asked him if he was going to be able to drive the car to get the parts. He said he didn't think so, but he didn't know who to call. He doesn't like making phone calls in the first place, and he also doesn't like asking for help; so you can imagine that this wasn't something he wanted to do. I told him I'd call my dad for him. I made the call and said a quick prayer that dad would be home. Dad answered the phone as soon as I finished my silent prayer and he said he'd be right over! I love my dad!

They didn't have one of the parts (the flange on the end of the pipe), but he was able to buy everything else. He put everything on the car quickly. For now, he just put the old flange back on and put some sealant around the connection. It is much quieter so he should be able to get the car inspected today and hopefully it will pass. I think the guy will pass it if he knows Bob is going to pick up the part afterwards and put it on. If not, I'm sure he'll allow him to come back another day this week and pass it then. I asked my husband how much everything cost and it was under $30 (that includes the cost of the flange that they had to order in for him). God answered everything I asked of him, and the cost was WAY below the price that I claimed and believed the parts would be under! Our God is an awesome God!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Have To Ask First Before God Can Act

Our church goes to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware every year for a Ladies' Retreat. Last year was my first year attending one of these retreats, and there were about 60 women who went. That was a record since it use to be only 30 or 40. This year, there were a total of 83 women who attended, and half of them were women who don't attend our church! The retreat this year was May 1-3 so I just returned last night from the retreat.

The theme this year was summarized in one word: Heart. We learned that we need ask God EVERY DAY to open our spiritual eyes so that we can see what He wants us to see, learn what He wants us to learn, and do what He wants us to do. I learned a lot and am eager to start putting into practice what God taught me while I was there. I am really excited about one thing in particular that God taught me and that is what I want to share today.

On Saturday morning, the pastor's wife was speaking and she said "We need to act first before God can act." She continued to say that sometimes we may pray about something in the morning or evening, but then we don't ask God for it when we really need to. I immediately realized this was exactly what I was doing! As most of you know, I've been using a cyberschool to homeschool my daughter and I have really been struggling with controlling my tongue. When she ignores me or talks back to me, I often say things I know I shouldn't simply because I'm too frustrated or angry to stop and think first. I've been praying every morning for God to give me patience and help me with this, but God let me know this weekend that I wasn't asking Him for patience at the right moment. I needed to be asking Him for it when I feel myself getting frustrated or angry! God made it so clear to me that what I need to do is stop school immediately and tell Sarah that I need to pray. I then need to pray aloud for God to help ME stay calm because I am starting to feel frustrated. I also should pray for Sarah to listen to me as I speak so that I don't continue to feel frustrated. I can also ask Sarah to pray for God to help her listen. It seems so easy, yet I hadn't ever thought to do that before. DUH! I'm thankful God finally taught me this...even though I wish I would have been told about this 2 years ago! LOL!

We broke up into small discussion groups after this session and I decided to share what God had taught me. I knew it was God who led me to share when a few minutes later another woman in the group started to talk and thanked me for sharing what I did because it helped her to see what she should be doing with a little girl she babysits for every day. God is so awesome!!

I don't know what it is that you may be struggling with. You may be like me and ask God daily for Him to help you resist a certain temptation or handle a situation the way He wants you to, but then you fail when you are faced with that temptation or situation. Next time you are faced with that temptation or situation that you are struggling with, stop immediately and pray for God's help! I'm sure He will then give you exactly what you need to help you successfully make it through.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are You A Fool?

No one likes to be called a fool or even foolish. I know I sure don't! I guess that's why Proverbs 29: 11 struck me. It says "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." OUCH! When I read that, the first thing that entered my mind was "OUCH!" because I realized I do not act like like very wise most of the time when I get really frustrated (or angry). There have been many times when I would be telling myself "you shouldn't be saying this" as the words come to my mind, but I just couldn't seem to stop myself and the words would come flying out my mouth. I do apologize later, but that NEVER makes it right.

Words hurt and you can't take back what you said. I am reminded of an analogy that was used at church to show my kids this very thing. If you take a tube of toothpaste and squeeze the tube, you will see it is very easy to get almost all of the toothpaste out of the tube (yes, they actually had the kids do this! They had a BLAST squeezing all the toothpaste onto a paper plate! LOL!). Now, try to put the toothpaste back into the tube. You should have seen the kids' expressions as they looked at the toothpaste on the plate and tried to use the plastic knife to put the toothpaste back in the tube. They quickly realized it was IMPOSSIBLE...just like it is impossible to take back what you say.

I've decided that I do NOT want to be a fool anymore. I am really going to work hard on ALWAYS keeping my tongue under control so that I don't say things that I shouldn't. I know it isn't going to be easy, but I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! If you have the same problem as me, I encourage you to make that same decision. With God's help, we CAN do this!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Upwards

I enrolled my daughter Sarah in Upwards Cheerleading this year. She loved it! I took my first video using my digital camera last night when she performed a pom routine with her team. I was so proud of her! She dropped her pom at the beginning, scooped it up quickly and kept right on going! She is in the front row, second from the left. Hopefully you can see and hear the video. I apologize now because I did move some near the beginning, but overall I don't think it is too bad of a video...especially for it being my first try doing it! LOL!

video

Saturday, March 14, 2009

God Is Good

Since it has been over a month since I last wrote on my blog, I figured I should let you all know I'm still around. The Lord continues to be good even though there are times I struggle with why He continues to put up with me. I'm so thankful my Saviour is patient and forgiving! God is good!

This past week I checked an e-mail account that I had totally forgotten about. I was amazed to see an e-mail from someone who did a search for something and one of the posts I had written on my blog came up in her search! Of all the places she could have gone, she chose to come to my blog. The post I had written helped her and she took the time to write an e-mail to me to thank me! She had sent the e-mail to me a month ago and even though I felt bad that so much time had passed, I was thankful it hadn't been 4 months or more like some of the over 250 e-mails I had in my inbox were! I wrote back to her and just have to hope that she reads it because it truly did make my day to know that my blog helped someone. God is good!

I also wrote another song this week! Technically, I guess I wrote 2 even though the one is more of a little ditty than an actual song. I wrote both songs on Thursday, the same day I had already planned on getting together with the worship team leader at my church so we could finish figuring out chords for the first song I wrote. She has heard a little bit of the second song I had written and had mentioned that it sounded like a children's song. Thursday night as we worked on finishing up the chords on my first song, she mentioned that that one too sounded like it could be a children's song and she thinks God may be giving me children's songs. She told me to pray about it to see what God tells me, but she said she had been thinking it would be neat to put together a CD of children's songs so that the kids in the church could have music to listen to that is geared to their level. She has only written 2 songs, so I guess it is possible God has given me a few songs to help bring her dream to fulfillment. Even though I never thought of my first song as being for kids, I know the chorus is very simple and would be easy for kids to pick up. I truly am humbled to think that God may have blessed me with songs for other kids to enjoy, as well as learn Biblical truth from since all 3 of my songs have a Bible verse in them. The little ditty I wrote was just a way for my little boy to learn how to spell Jesus, but God may be giving me some other words for that one as well. I'm keeping my heart and mind open to whatever and however He wants to use me. Yes, God is good!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'll Never Forget You Grandma!


Heaven gained another saint today. Jesus finally called my grandma home this morning. Our family knew that she was on heaven's doorstep for the past three weeks, but Jesus kept telling her to wait for some reason. I'm not certain what that reason was, but I'm wondering if it was because just one more person needed to come to know the Lord because of her. Just a few days ago, hospice nurses finally started to show up in an effort to ease the workload of my one aunt especially who was caring for grandma. Two of my aunts were able to share their faith with a few of the nurses who came to the house, and I have to wonder whether one (or more) of those nurses needed to hear about the Lord and that's why grandma had to wait a little longer before she was able to go home. If just one more person came to know the Lord because of grandma, I know she would have agreed that the wait was worth it. My grandma was a woman who had incredible faith, and everyone in my family is a better person because of her. My one cousin asked all of the grandkids to write down a memory we had of grandma. I wrote a lot more than just one, so I decided to put my list here as well so that anyone who may come across my blog and read this post might be able to see what an amazing woman my grandma was!

I remember when I was a child, standing outside waiting for the school bus to come, we all would be freezing in the winter and would be doing whatever it took to try and stay warm. We noticed grandma taking her daily walk, and her coat was WIDE OPEN! She smiled when she saw us and simply replied in her cheerful way "It's a bit nippy out today!"

I remember going sledding with my sisters and grandma came up to visit. We had a round red sled and we asked grandma if she wanted to go sledding with us. She came right over, sat down on the red sled, and down the hill she went yelling "Weeeeeeee!!!!!" all the way down!

I remember grandma always having some freshly baked cookies for us whenever we came to visit. I also remember baking cookies with grandma. Of course, that always included eating some raw cookie dough too!

I remember walking into grandma's house and seeing her on her knees in front of her chair, praying for everyone in the family by name. I know she has left us a wonderful legacy! Grandma had such an incredible faith and love for the Lord that I wanted to be just like her. I know I am no where near the person she was, but I do have a deep faith in the Lord that I am certain is a result of growing up with grandma in my life.

I admire the way she always spoke gently to us when we did something wrong. I don't remember ever hearing her yell because she was mad or angry. I know I can't say the same for me! I pray that the Lord will give me the same gentle spirit that grandma had.

I cherish the time I spent living with her. She was a wonderful Christian woman and was a wonderful listener. She was so very happy for me when I finally met the man I was going to marry. She told me she had been praying for me to meet someone, so I have no doubt Bob came into my life because my grandma prayed! She was indeed an awesome prayer warrior and could pray for great lengths of time. I teased her that God probably brought Bob into my life just so that she would leave Him alone ! LOL!

I know grandma will be greatly missed by many people. I can almost hear her singing with the angels, as only grandma could sing! She is finally with pappy and Wendy again, as well as with other family and friends who went on before her. I know I will see her again one day. Until that time, I will try and live my life in a way that will show others the love I have for my Lord, just like grandma did!













Thursday, February 5, 2009

Detours

I always dread seeing a detour sign for a road I need to take when I'm driving somewhere. Many times I only know one way to get to where I'm going and I don't know the back roads. I have to hope and pray that there are detour signs along the way that point out where I need to go next. If there are no signs because they just assume everyone knows the way, I have to rely on the cars in front of me to guide me. Yes, I PRAY that they know where they are going!

It's the same way in the Christian life. The decisions we make may take us on a detour from the perfect route God has laid out for us, but He knows the way we need to go in order for us to get back to where to He wants all. All we need to do is follow Him! There are definitely times we won't have a clue as to where we are going or where He is taking us, but I know God knows and He will never lead you the wrong way. We just need to trust Him.

I'm not sure why God laid this on my heart this morning, but He brought it to mind again this evening so I knew I was suppose to type it out here. I hope this helps whoever it was meant for!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

I have been struggling for over a week now with my emotions. My grandma is probably in her last days here in this world. She has lived a good long life and is homesick for heaven. I know she wants to see Jesus as well as pappy and Wendy (my sister) again. I have no doubt when she enters those pearly gates, they'll be standing there right next to Jesus welcoming her to heaven with their arms open wide. I know I have been blessed to have had such a wonderful Christian woman as my grandma. I know this in my HEAD, but it doesn't stop my HEART from breaking. I'm going to miss her so much when she is gone, even though I know she'll be at peace and oh so very happy!

The other day someone was trying to help, but the person's words didn't help. In fact, they kind of hurt because it didn't feel as if they understood at all what I was going through. The person said I should feel happy because I knew grandma was going to heaven. Later I was told by this same person that I should feel blessed that I had my grandma this long because this person had lost their grandma when they were in their 20s. As I've already said, I know in my head that grandma is going to heaven, and I will be happy for her. I know in my head that I am blessed to have had her this long. Does any of that help it to hurt less? Not really. I can't turn off what my heart is feeling.

I have been through 3 miscarriages and there were 2 things that I absolutely HATED to hear: "You can have another one" and "It was God's will." I know now, as a result of going through miscarriages, that I am able to help others who are going through it. I can empathize with them because I've gone through it myself. I eventually did have a child after suffering my first miscarriage, and I had another child after suffering 2 more miscarriages. So even though those things that I hated to hear were true, they weren't what I needed or wanted to hear at that moment in time!

This morning, I was thinking about what happened last week with this person telling me how I should feel about my grandma being in her last days and I thought about writing a letter to this person letting them know how their words had hurt me. I then opened up my Bible and read Matthew 7. The very FIRST verse in that chapter says "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Tears filled my eyes as I continued to read the first 6 verses in Matthew because I realized God was talking to me, and gently scolding me. He was about to show me something that I hadn't been thinking about. How many times have I said something hurtful to someone? I know I've said stuff when I was upset or angry that I never should have allowed myself to say. I was thinking of removing the speck from another person's eye when I had a plank in my own eye!

The title for my blog came to me very quickly. A few weeks ago, I heard the song "Slow Fade" on the radio and absolutely loved it. It is now the third song on my playlist in case you've never heard the song before or if you just want to listen to it. God reminded me this morning that I really need to be careful and think before I say something. I know I may not always know when something I say was taken the wrong way or did wind up hurting someone, but I pray that God will let me know when I've said something so I can go and apologize as soon as possible. Mostly I pray that the words that come out of my mouth are always said/used to build someone up and never tear them down, and that my words are said in love and not anger.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cast Off

I'm sure you know as well as I do that it can be very easy to worry about stuff, especially when it is out of our control. I Peter 5: 7 says "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Isn't it awesome to know that we can take all our worries and concerns to the creator of the universe?! Some may think that the God who created the universe couldn't care less about us, but that is NOT what the Bible tells us! God LOVES us and He CARES about what we are going through and what is bothering us. He wants us to bring all our cares to Him and LEAVE THEM THERE! He doesn't want us to worry about anything. He wants us to tell Him what is bothering us so that we don't need to continue worrying about it because we know that He will take care of everything!

As I was thinking about this verse, I realized I had done just that the night before. For the past month, Micah has had a cough that just won't go away. On the good days, he only coughs first thing in the morning and when he first goes to bed. When it gets bad, he'll cough all day and all night. Sarah had a bad cough a few weeks ago that only lasted for a few days and then went away. Saturday she woke up with a persistent cough that would just not quit. Saturday night, I didn't get more than an hour or two of sleep because I could hear Sarah and Micah coughing so badly. I had already given them cough medicine so there was nothing else I could do but lie there and listen to them. My husband stayed home with both kids on Sunday because I had to be there since I was singing on the worship team. God gave me the strength to sing and praise Him in spite of how tired I was. I usually go to bed around 11 pm, but it was barely 9 pm Sunday night and I couldn't stay awake any longer. Before heading to bed, I let God know that I was extremely tired and needed to sleep tonight. As I walked up the stairs, I could hear Sarah coughing. I climbed into bed, heard her cough again, but I fell asleep shortly thereafter and slept all the way through the night! My kids are still coughing today, but I truly believe the Lord quieted their coughs last night because I told Him my concern about needing to sleep so I could function today (which I definitely needed since vacation is over and school has started again).

There may be times you feel what you are worried about seems small or insignificant, but God cares about it no matter what it is! Don't hold on to your worries and fears. Cast them off yourself and onto God. Let Him deal with them!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. I also hope the Lord blesses each of you richly this coming year. I don't usually make resolutions, but the idea of making a "resolution" came to mind on Dec. 31 as I was doing my devotions. It's been something I've been wanting to do, and I guess the Lord was letting me know to give it to Him and see what happens. So, I made a resolution to cut back on the amount of soda I drink each day...to just one can a day (instead of the 2-3 I was drinking). I know there may be days I drink more than one, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I know there's going to definitely be some testing in the weeks ahead because next weekend we have 3 birthday parties, one of which is for Sarah's 10th birthday!! The week after that is a bridal shower. Next month, we have a wedding and the following week is a party for Micah's 5th birthday! I know I'm allowed to celebrate from time to time and have an extra soda, but I'm really going to try to keep in mind that I want to succeed at this and not have an extra glass or can of soda just because "I can celebrate today and drink just one tomorrow." I know with God's help, I'll be able to keep my focus and stick to it this time because I've written it down and given this to God!

Of course, Satan also knows about this and is already trying to make me fail. It only took ONE day for me to feel the effects of cutting back on my soda intake. Yesterday I had a massive headache all day long, and I truly think it may have been a caffeine withdrawal headache! I've had them before when I tried to cut back, and I usually gave up trying because I just could not stand dealing with the headache. I refused to drink a soda like I REALLY wanted to at lunch because I was NOT going to give in so easily this time! I survived and today I felt much better. My daughter Sarah is cheering for Upwards this year and today was her first game. I kept myself busy for awhile taking pictures and talking, but then Micah said he was hungry because he saw there was a table set up with snacks on it. So I took him over to the table and bought him a juice box and some goldfish. Why am I telling you this? Because they also had cans of soda in the same cooler as the juice boxes. I actually picked one up and it was as if God quietly reminded me that I really didn't need that. It wasn't even that hard for me to put the soda back down in the ice and walk away! I definitely look forward to dinner when I do get to drink my can of soda, but I have made it 3 days now and have only had one soda each day! HURRAY!

Now since I told you I bought a digital camera and could post some pictures more often, I suppose I should let you see some pictures from our Christmas! In order to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas, we do three gifts that symbolize the three gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus. Gold is something they want. This year Sarah got a Little Pets set (Picture #3) and Micah got an Ambulance (Picture #4). Frankincense is something they need, which is always clothes (Picture #2 shows them holding up the top of their outfits. Both Sarah and Micah got a 2-piece outfit)! Myrrh is something to build them up spiritually (Bible, video, Christian CD). This year they both got CDs (Picture #1 shows them opening/looking at their CDs). The last picture is a family picture that was taken at my parent's house. Hope you enjoy them!