Monthly Archives: July 2008

A give-away is under way!

Get on over to Denise of Sew the Word, a.k.a. Samaratan Women, and sign up for the incredible give-away!
She is so sweet to do this! For the Thankful Thursday post, head on down the page a bit!

Religion? Or Relationship

Before I get too far into this, I wanted to make sure you knew this IS Thankful Thursday. Every week we gather around and share what we are thankful for. It varies from air conditioners that work, dishwashers that have been repaired, healing for ourselves or loved ones, birthing of new babies…health, financial needs being met, jobs being secured, friends, family, but most of all, every-single-lady is thankful for salvation. For a relationship with Christ. Not religion. A true relationship.

Iris, the incredibly sweet hostess of Thankful Thursday has supplied us with the perfect verse:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.~ 1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV)

We are His girls. Did you know that? His. Bought with a price. Adopted into His family. Do you resemble Him?

I will start this off with a huge thankful for my dear sister Aimee. Each and every morning we have a time together on the phone. A time of fellowship with each other—and sharing the Word. Today I shared a verse from a Beth Moore daily devotional. It spoke of our “reflection of Christ”. Looking like Him. Representing Him. When I turned on my computer and went to a couple of devotional sites I found similar messages. They had no clue that I had just shared this same thought line with Aimee. Both of the sites shared about our reflection of Christ. The fact that we, as His daughters—should look like—His Son. Do we? I thought about this all day long.

I want the Father to see the reflection of His Son in my life. I want to resemble Christ so much that when others look at me—there is no doubt that I am His. Have you ever heard someone say of an adopted child, “she looks just like you”, or of a married couple of long years, “you’ve been together so long, you resemble one another”. That’s what I want of my life and spirit. I want my actions and attitude to resemble Christ.

That is hard to do sometimes. I mean, get real here. Think about how you feel when someone cuts in front of you on the highway—and you are in a hurry—going 70 miles per hour. Does Christ likeness flood your vehicle? Hmmm. Well, like I said. This is hard. For me anyway. It is something I am working on. Daily.

I want a relationship with Jesus that is real and EVIDENT. One that others— “want what I’ve got”. Don’t you want to be a traffic director? No, not the officer that stands in the road waving you forward or putting up his hand for you to stop. But the one that directs others—that are seeking the Way—to the Way. You point them, even take them, to the Way, the Truth and the Life.

A true relationship will be sought after. Anyone can “get religion”—but to develop a relationship—you have to stay in contact—constant communication with that Person. That’s what I want. How about you?

So—I am thankful for my family—my sweet man—who prays over me—for me and with me. I am thankful for my daughters and their families. I am thankful for my job and my co-workers. I am thankful for my church family, my health, my dishwasher, my washer/dryer, my AIRCONDITIONER, but most of all…..I am thankful for the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life on a daily basis. I am thankful for my relationship….with God, my Father–His Son—and the Holy Spirit. Daily.

What are you thankful for….Run on over to Iris‘ place….see what others are saying!

Belly-Button Hindrances

Today you will find me at the `Cafe. The Internet `Cafe! Join me for some open-honest discussion on some hindrances….the belly button kind… Click on the words or the link to get there. Bring your coffee!

I am honored to be able to share some of my rambling thoughts with some absolutely awesome writers! Thank you Lori and Amy for keeping the coffee hot and the tables ready!

Tears of Sunday

Today feels like one of those days where I may just spend the day at the bottom of the falls. A waterfall of tears.

Why? Why do we go through spells like this? I suppose I need a good washing. No, perhaps not the outside, but maybe—the inside. The impurities washed away as my eyes are filled and spilled.

Yesterday I sat in the floor of my little study room sorting through papers, cards, handwritten notes and carefully typed pages. At one point all I wanted to do was cry. And I did for just a bit. Couldn’t wallow long though. There was, after all, a youngster in the house. Do you ever have those days?

Then Sunday dawns and every scripture passage I read sends a wave of emotion all over again. Then the choir sings and the boy misbehaves, distracting to those around us and out we go. He has bad timing. Just before communion. So we sat, the youngster and I, in our version of silence–which is not silence at all. I try to understand because I know he has some difficulties with understanding.

I think sometimes the Lord tries ever so hard to be understanding with us…because He loves us, and He realizes that sometimes we have some difficulties that we just can’t cope with. That’s where His grace and mercy comes in. Where would I be without it?

Probably on the floor of my little study room in a heap of tears. I Peter 5:7 says “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” KJV

Some days it feels like I am a fly fisherman. Constantly casting. There are days that they seem to overwhelm me. I suppose this was one of those weekends. But I know that after time spent alone with Him, in prayer and in His word, I will be renewed in my spirit and heart.

And that, dear friend is where you will find me for the next while. With Him. Casting my cares, fears and tears. He cares for you too. I know you have some of your own. Cast away…..

Thankful I can READ!

My Thankful Thursday is a bit out of the ordinary….but then…aren’t we all??? Visit Iris for more Thankful hearts…sharing all the incredible things we are thankful for!

Having books coming out of my ears (eyes) is a blessing. I should have bought stock in Barnes & Noble; Borders; Books-a-million; and for SURE LifeWay a long time ago. Reading is a wonderful way to have a quick “get-away” anytime you have a few minutes.

I remember when I was a young teen—I spent MANY hours stretched across the bed on Saturdays after all the chores were completed reading…visiting far away lands. Now, that is what I call fun!

With gas prices sky-rocketing even further…pay a visit to your local bookstore. You can find a plethora of adventure variety! Here’s a peek at what I am currently engrossed in….and when I finish…I will give you MY take on these awesome reads!

What I am reading: Lisa Whittle’s Behind Those Eyes takes you on a journey of an incredible investigation of “self”—or at least it has for me. Revealing to me–the “who-what-why’s of my personality. She has shown me (for I am continually trying to squash it) my insecurities, fears and lack of confidence among many other things..I haven’t yet discovered (because I am STILL reading) . She invites you to take a good look at who you are – and who God created you to be – she encourages a return to authenticity and biblical truth. To GET REAL!! She invites me to KNOW the real me–you know..the one without the “makeup”. (Kind of scary!)

“For Women ONLY.” This is one amazing book. Shaunti Feldhahn has absolutely shined a light in a “sometimes” dark corner of many of our lives….”the brain of our men”! I’m only into chapter three—-but I can already tell, this is one I encourage you to read if you’re married or plan to be married!

What’s going on in there? “Ever been totally confused by something your man has said or done? Want to understand his secret desires and fears, his daily battles that you know nothing about? Shaunti Feldhahn takes you beneath the surface into the inner lives of men. For Women Only is about the things we just don’t “get” about guys. With findings from a groundbreaking national survey and personal interviews of over one thousand men, Feldhahn presents eye-opening revelations you need not only to understand the man in your life, but to support and love him in the way he needs to be loved. Grounded in biblical hope, you’ll discover how to love your man for who he really is—not who you think he is.” (From Back Cover Copy.)

One of my all time favorite authors….Max. Max Lucado to be precise. Here’s the copy from the back of his book, “When Christ Comes.”

“Would you like to discuss the end of time and feel better because of it? Or to hear some truly comforting words regarding the return of Christ? Thoughts of the Second Coming are unsettling. Open graves and occupied clouds. Sins revealed and evil unveiled. Yet, for Max Lucado, the coming of Christ will be “the beginning of the very best.” In “When Christ Comes”, Max shares how Christians can live in hope, confident in His comfort and peaceful in our preparations for His return. Regarding that day, Jesus urged, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me” (John 14:1).

Max Lucado believes the day Christ comes will be the “beginning of the very best.” Our primary task is to be prepared and peaceful as we wait. If you have some questions about the end of time…if you have concerns about what will happen to you…if you like to look to the end of times as a source of comfort and not chaos…this is the right book.”

AND last but definitely NOT least….my Bible. My sword. My weapon of warfare that seems to be a constant these days. And we were warned that it would be this way. So, do we sit about in our easy-chairs, listening to classical music and let the war rage on??? Not if you intend to win this battle.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV (emphasis mine)

To win…we must fight well. To fight well we must be armed.

Ladies you know what to do. Suit-up!

The Garden of Life (Re-run)

I love the colors of summer. The bright pinks, hues of blue and vivid reds—the varying shades of green in the trees and the grasses. My favorite season though, is Fall. But right now I am focused on Summer….since we are in the “heat” of it!
Several years ago while digging in a flower bed, the Lord taught me some lessons. I would like to share them with you.

The Anchor
When I first started thinking of my flowerbed, I knew it needed an anchor. Something substantial that it could rest against. Something that would help tie the flowerbed and the house together. We decided on a patio.

My husband and I worked for two days laying a solid brick patio. The bricks were very old and completely solid. They were a variety of colors, from terra-cotta colored to reds and beige. They blended well. We arranged them in a in a criss-cross design. He poured in the sand and mortar mixture to set them, we swept it in with a broom and he hosed it down and we stood back and admired the end result.

The man of the house decided that I could do the planning of the flowerbed. He would be on standby to dig the larger holes, but for the most part, it was my baby. As I began planning my flower bed, I would lie in bed at night and visualize what it might look like complete. I had in my mind the type of flowers I wanted. I started small. I laid out my design with left over patio bricks. I rearranged them to suit my plan. I wanted something unusual. Something that would please the eye and invite you to “sit for a while”.

I planned my whole flowerbed around the design of the patio. I used the left over bricks for a border. I carefully chose my flowers according to color, size and “drawability”….no that’s not a word, but I wanted to draw butterflies. After several afternoons spent digging, weeding, planting, watering and “rearranging”, it was finished. It was so small, the plants so young and tender. They needed constant attention. I watched like a hawk for weeds and dared any animal to come near my sweet little new plants.
As the seasons changed, my little plants changed too. So did I. Many things were taking place in my life. Every day that I spent working in my flowerbed, God was using that time to “weed out things in my heart and life”. I had kind of a “two for one” deal! As the years passed, my flowers were no longer small.

The Jungle
During a particular tough summer for me, I spent less time in my little garden and more time worrying and fretting over some particularly difficult circumstances in my life. One day I arrived home and realized I was living in a jungle! The crepe myrtle bush had turned into a tree and was “creeping” to my door. My lantana had grown so large; it was now taller than I was in places! My once cute little garden was now out of control. So were the problems in my life.

We can all find a point in time in each of our lives where we realize our little plants have become bigger than we have. Each passing season brings change. Some changes we welcome with open arms, some we try to run from. Nevertheless, change is inevitable.

The Solution
So what do we do with these inevitable, often uninvited changes? We determine to rise early, grab our sturdy work gloves, get out the hedge clippers, the shovel, the wheelbarrow, the hoe and rake and get to work! It will be a hot sweaty job, but I need to sweat sometimes. We all do. It washes out the impurities in our bodies (lives). It will take a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat, cutting, trimming, raking and possibly, even the moving of some plants (that I now realized were planted in the wrong place), but the end result (when you are too pooped to see straight), is well worth all the efforts.

Sometimes the processes God takes us through are painful as well. Sometimes we have to be pruned, trimmed, even cut way back to be what we should be. Sometimes, we even have to be moved. I did that with some of my plants. We even did that with a few trees. They just weren’t flourishing where they were placed originally. It was a scary process. I am not a horticulturist. I had no clue if they would survive if moved. I worried over the root system. The only thing I knew about gardening, I had learned while watching my mother and grandmothers and HGTV! You may think this is silly, but I “prayed” over my plants.

Believe it or not, the Lord answered my prayers. I knew if anyone knew anything about gardening….He did. After all……He planted the first garden!

He taught me much during those seasons of my life in gardening and living. Somethings in my life needed to be pruned out. There were things that were keeping me from progressing in my faith. Things that were hindering my walk with the Father.

Hebrews 12:1-14
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, “My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who was never disciplined? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong. Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

I love that verse I underlined “So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.” Hebrews 12:12 NLT
Isn’t that just how we feel when we’ve been on our knees in the garden digging and pulling weeds for hours? Tired hands and shaky legs. He (the ultimate Gardener) will strengthen our hands, feet and yes our backs too!
How awesome it is to serve God! How incredible He is to attend our every need! Thank you Lord for caring about our lives, even our gardens.
(This post was originally posted July 29, 2007—but it ties in with my thought lines for this week—and my Internet Cafe` post that comes out July 29, 2008!) Hope you don’t mind the re-run!
Have a blessed day!


Psalm 52:8, 9

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.”

Once you have been hurt in a particular area of you life, it is difficult to “trust” in that spot again. But I am reminded over and over—the LORD is always trustworthy. His mercy and love fails us not.

There is not a day that passes that I am not somehow reminded of what He did for me. I have failed Him—-yet He somehow trusts me still. How is that? How could He know—that I could be trusted again?

Even as our children were growing up—they had to learn lessons sometimes over and over. They would even sometimes be untruthful. I have even had a downright lie told directly to my face—yet—I love them still. And in time, I knew I could trust them to be truthful—obedient again. All part of the growing and maturing process. So it is with us.

As I am praying about certain things in my life—the Lord is leading me into new areas of trusting Him. Trusting without knowing or seeing what comes next. What indeed? “Just trust me child”.

Allow me to share an excert from my post on Laced with Grace last week. . . .

“After I arrived home and began opening my mail, my heart skips a beat when on the outside of one envelope I spot these words…
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart” Proverbs 3:5–on a cute little sticker with 3 red hearts.

Well, I open the envelope and read the sweet words from my dear friend Iris, and tears pool in my eyes. God is good.

I open the second envelope. Darlin’ little envelope with a little “hangy-down-thingy” that says, HUG. Sweet. From Lori. A crafty girl. When I opened the card she had written a sweet note and then, almost as an afterthought, placed a sticky-note at the top with these words …
“Keep on trustin’ “.

After I mopped up my tears…I knew the message for my heart—for this time of my life—for these needs of mine…TRUST ME CHILD. Hard as it is sometimes…especially when I LOVE KNOWING things…I just don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle yet….but I know as He is holding the next one—He has a little shine in His eyes as He is about to lay it down for me to see….and all He requires of me is….TRUST. I do. Do YOU?


Ya’ll go read some more “trusting”, thankful hearts at Iris’ place!