Friday, December 23, 2011


"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

Today I found myself humming a Christmas song that talks about Immanuel, God with us. It's my favorite name of God. It reminds me that I'm never alone, never without His presence.

Just typing that seems unreal, impossible even. It's not. Jesus came to Earth to be with us and when He left, God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- " John 14:16

This time of year it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, shopping, running to parties, and planning meals for all the guests. Sometimes we miss the point of being with each other.

We miss the reason that Jesus came-- to be with us. Be intentional this Christmas about spending time with Jesus and with your loved ones. It's the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have a Little Talk

My daughter and I have a routine we follow most days when she gets home from school. I say, "Hi honey, how was your day?" She responds and then says, "How was your day?" Recently I responded with, "I'm wiped out! I had an argument with my friend." To which my sweet girl replied, "Moma, they need to talk to Jesus!" It made me smile, because my girl was so quick to take up for her Moma.

It also reminded me of a song that I grew up singing in church. And at the risk of revealing just how far in the South I grew up, it was called "Just a Little Talk with Jesus", I think! Here's the words to the part I remember:

Now let us have a little talk with Jesus

Let us tell him all about our troubles

He will hear our faintest cry he will answer by and by

And when you feel a little prayer wheel turnin'

And you will know a little fire is burnin'

Find a little talk with Jesus makes it right

So I took my sweet girl's advice and had a little talk with Jesus about the argument with my friend. God is good and brings restoration and reconciliation if we're willing. He did for me and my friend and used my teenager to help me see it was possible. Amazing.

For those of you wondering about the song, look what I found on the wonderful web. Click here for a treat, Elvis style! Be warned, you made feel the need to tap your feet. Just make sure no one is watching. Enjoy your day and have a little talk with Jesus everyday.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I had the privilege this past weekend to speak at Shine, an event for women at Hilton Head Island Community Church. It was such a blessing to see God moving in the hearts of these women to start small group Bible studies at their church. We talked a lot about the importance of making connections to the body of Christ as believers. Those connections are what hold us accountable and keep us grounded in God's Word. We used the model of the early church found in Acts to set-up what a small group looks like and how each of us can participate. Acts 2:42 taught us that the believers were devoted to:

  • The teachings of Jesus (the study of God's Word)

  • The fellowship (the small group and the church)

  • The breaking of bread together (communion and sharing of meals)

  • Prayer (for each other, the small group and the church at large)

As someone who has been involved with small groups for over half my life now, it was a great reminder for me. I just finished Max Lucado's book, Fearless, and in it he has some great thoughts about the desire for the church to connect physically to the body of Christ. He reminds us that it is possible because the church is the body of Christ. He says, "When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries…When we mix, mingle, confess, and pray, Christ speaks." That alone should make the sacrifice of our time and energy worth the commitment.

I am so thankful to Cynthia Cullen and her team for having me and my family with them this weekend. We are blessed.

Monday, October 24, 2011


On Friday, I took my 13 year old daughter and her friend to see the movie Footloose. No biggie, I thought. It'll be fun to see the remake and to see if my daughter likes it as much as I did the first time around. In the opening scene, the music starts blaring the song Footloose. So like every other person in the theatre (and it was packed full), I started singing along. My daughter was mortified. I don't have this great voice but it couldn't be that bad. No one could hear me anyway…it was very loud. "Stop it mother, just stop!" Hannah was more than a little upset with me. I cracked up and told her to just listen…everybody else was singing along too. It was pretty funny.

Later I realized that I had justified my behavior the same way I tell my daughter not too. Oops! More often than not, I counsel her not to make choices based on what everybody else is doing. Rather I tell her to be intentional about what she's doing and to really consider what she wants.

Last week in Bible study we looked at a similar lesson in the book of Ruth. Towards the end of the book in chapter 3, Ruth goes to Boaz in the night and essentially asks him to take her as his wife. Boaz is a kinsman-redeemer, but he's not the closest one. Boaz could have done several things but he chose to do the right thing. He could have embarrassed Ruth, but he chose to protect her character. He could have taken her as his, but he chose to follow the customs of the day and bring the matter to the appropriate person. He does the right thing.

It was actually a message in the movie too! The young folks could have chosen to rebel and keep sneaking around. **Spoiler Alert** In the end, they choose to confront the real issue and be honest about what they want. And at the risk of being totally honest, I sang again at the end of the movie….'cause everybody else was! A work in progress, that's me.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Every day that I take my children to school we pass a police officer directing traffic. At my daughter’s school, the officer stands at an intersection that is pretty busy. The road the school is on runs perpendicular into a really busy street.
Once I drop my daughter off and head back towards the intersection, I’m usually going left. Some days the officer just motions for me to keep moving. It feels really strange, because technically I’m running a stop sign. But the officer told me too. (That sounds like my kids saying the dog ate their homework!) It’s true, at least in my case, that the officer told me to not that the dog ate my homework.
Some days I hesitate. Some days I completely stop and look for myself. And then some days, I roll right on through. It’s a matter of trust. The police officer wants the flow of traffic to run smoothly. His goal is safety and protection for those of us who pass through this intersection. I know that and yet some days I don’t trust it.

The same is true in my walk with Jesus. I know that He loves me and wants my best. (See John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11) I sense His direction and leading. He opens doors and provides opportunities. Some days I hesitate. Some days I do what I want to. And then some days, I roll with it. It truly is a matter of trust.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Power Suit

Do you remember watching Superman on tv? Clark Kent was the mild-mannered newspaper reporter by day, big black glasses and all. When he wanted or needed to do something great, he became Superman. He would dash off to the nearest closest or alley and come back with his blue tights and red cape on. With his power suit, he was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It was pretty exciting stuff to watch. The power suit gave him the ability to do more than the average person thought possible. Did you know that we too have a power suit defined by God that gives us the ability to do great things. It's described in Ephesians 6:13-18(NIV).

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

In her Bible study, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, Sharon Norris Elliott teaches us much about wearing it well. Each chapter focuses on a portion of the armor andthe hindrances we need to shed in order to have a suit fitted for us. Can you imagine how silly Clark Kent would have looked putting on the blue tights and cape over his business suit? The image on our tv screen would have been hilarious and our belief in his ability greatly diminished. Ms. Elliott teaches us that we do the same with God's armor when we try to mask sin or hang on to things of this world while wearing God's armor. In order for truth, righteousness, peace, faith and God's Word to fit properly in our lives, we need to take off the old stuff, the sin that entangles us. Every day we need to dress in the newness of God's power, completely unhindered, and watch as God gives us the supernatural ability to prevail.

**If you enjoyed this post, please fill out the box in the top right hand corner to receive them in your e-mail. Don't worry about be bombarded…I only post once or so a week!**

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ICRS 2011

Writing is a funny thing for me. Sometimes it flows easily and other times I have absolutely no desire to write anything. That's probably true about most things that we do. The agony occurs when I do have thoughts that I want to write about and there's no time to string the sentences together. It's frustrating. This is where I have found myself this summer, a long hot summer! Today, however, the kids have been back in school for a few weeks and the routine is coming back together. With that said, hopefully I'll be posting on a more frequent basis.

Much happened this summer that I want to tell you about. The biggest event for me was going to ICRS-The International Christian Retail Show held in Atlanta. This is where I went with my publisher to promote Every Day Faith. The show was three days of non-stop walking, talking and promoting the Bible study to the attendees at the show. The show is where retailers come to find products for their stores. They represented brick and mortar stores, on-line stores and church stores from all over the world. I met folks from just about every state in the U.S., Korea, the Philipines, Trinidad, China, and many other places that I can't remember. It was exciting and an amazing time to see how God is at work all over the world. It was also fascinating to meet authors of all types of genres. I was especially impressed with the number of authors that were from Georgia.

Since this was my first time attending the show, I had no idea of what to expect. I certainly didn't anticipate the number of books that I would be given. This picture is just a portion of the books that we received over the three days. I don't know the count, but I'm pretty sure I have enough to open a small store of my own! Since then I've given many of them away, read quite a few and put some away as resources for my next Bible study.

Funny story about the picture. The book sitting toward the far right corner is called, "52 Ways to Wow Your Husband". My nine year old son was sitting with me as I sorted the books and he asked, "What do you need that book for?" To which I replied, "Don't you think I need to wow your Daddy?" He says, "No, I think He's wowed enough!" The picture is so blurry because I was cracking up laughing. Out of the mouth of babes….

Friday, July 22, 2011

Author's Beat

The Author's Beat is a site that carries interviews with lots of authors. I had the privilege of recording with them last week about Every Day Faith. Once I got past the butterflies, it was a lot of fun.

Here's the link below. Just click on the title once you're on their site.

Also, please leave a comment to let them know what you think. Diana Kay and her husband, John, were very nice and encouraging to this new author. I really appreciated their invitation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hairy Scary

Yesterday was Sunday. It should have been a pleasant, restful day. Well at least it started out that way. We went to church, visited with some family afterwards. Ran by a local bar-b-que place for lunch and then home for a quiet day, or so we thought.

The husband man decided he would cut the grass earlier than planned, because the forecast was calling for thunderstorms later in the day. I'm sitting on the couch reading the Sunday paper, when he comes barreling in the door looking like he saw a ghost. Or maybe looking like a ghost, because he was white as a sheet in the face! Being the calm one in the family (yeah right), I asked, "What's the matter with you?" To which he replies, "There's a spider in my shoe, a big, fat ugly one!" I begin to laugh, hysterically, because I'm just that caring and loving. I'm thinking just kill it and move on with your life. He's obviously concerned that the big, fat, ugly, black spider bit him. I try to feign some concern, but the husband man is not buying it.

Eventually, I get off the couch and go in the garage to find the culprit. Hairy Scary! It was nasty and I can't imagine what it felt like on his foot. Don't want to either, it gives me the creeps just thinking about it. So I do what any other caring and loving wife would do…I smack it with his flip flops! Here's a before picture.

And just in case you're wondering, he cut the grass in his flip flops. Not sure he'll ever wear those shoes again!

Later that evening the thunderstorms moved in. We watched the trees in our backyard, sway and tip and prayed none of them would fall over. (One did a couple of years ago!) The husband man decided to run an errand, and here's what was in the driveway.

Obviously, we forgot to look in the front yard. The husband man got out his chain saw and cut it up. When we pulled it to the back yard, here's what we found back there!

So how was your Sunday?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Three Letter Word

This weekend the little man had an allergic reaction to some eye drops. The drops were supposed to clear up his "pink eye". Unfortunately, he ended up with a "flaming red eye" that looked horrible. He assured us constantly that it didn't hurt, but those of us around him just knew that it did. Did I mention it looked awful? Painful?

We took him to the pediatrician who sent us straight to the local children's hospital. The concern was that his eye may be damaged. Thankfully his eye is fine and that was a great relief. However, the Saturday morning mad dash to the ER with the little man was a bit unnerving. Immediately I was able to text a few close friends and ask them to pray for the Mister. There is nothing like knowing you have "peeps" who will pray for you and with you. I am incredibly blessed and we are thankful, as a family, that we have such friends.

I had to ask myself, though, am I that kind of friend? You know the kind that will stop immediately and pray when asked to or the kind that has compassion for another's struggles. The honest answer for me is sometimes or it depends. Too often there's an excuse involved. It's not pretty, but it is the truth.

"Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3 ,4

Recently I studied this verse and I realized that I had been copping out on encouraging and comforting others. It was so easy to say I can't relate, because I've not walked in their shoes. Or I've never had that situation, so I don't know what to do. A closer look at the verses above would tell me otherwise. First, God is the God of all comfort, not me. (Duh? I know.) Secondly, God comforts us in all our troubles. This one I sort of got. I typically don't have a problem believing that God will comfort you or me. It's the last part I hadn't fully grasped. It says, "…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." That three letter word, a.n.y., covers e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. God doesn't allow me or you an "out" because we don't get it. He comforts us as we need it and that same comfort can be used for others, in any situation. So when the opportunity arises again, no more excuses.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Facing Your Fears

Do you face your fears? Not me. I'm good at just knowing what I can deal with and what I can't. For instance, I don't swim because I don't like anything over my head. I'm claustrophobic and the thought that water could be over my face and envelope my head is just too much for me to handle. A few days ago, I had to face a big fear…an MRI. Before I tell you the story, let me just say that everything is fine. The MRI was requested by my doctor to make sure that all was well and it is. Thank you Jesus.

I enter the imaging center and this Dear Woman (DW) takes me in the room with the long white tube. I tried to stare it down, but it wouldn't budge! It just sat there, taunting me. I'm sweating so profusely, that I think I'll probably get electrocuted from all the water. So DW says for me to lie down and put my shoulders all the way to the top. Then she has the nerve to put a CAGE over my head. I'm getting a little panicky, but think it will be o-k. I tell myself it's like wearing my daughter's pitching mask when I catch for her. I can see; I can talk…we're good. My breathing is fast, but I'm hanging in there. Then I start to move into the tube. All is well, at least I think so. Before I can close my eyes, DW hits the "up" button. Seriously, this thing is in my face. I'm pretty sure I could touch it with my tongue, and that's just way too close. Did I not mention that I am claustrophobic? She should have known better. I'm in a full blown panic attack, yelling for her to get me out. NOW!!!

I sat up for a few minutes and tried to gather myself. Then I realized that this is the path to finding out what the sharp pain in my head is all about. At least it will confirm that it's an inflamed lymph node pressing on a nerve and nothing more serious. So I've got to do this thing. Really Jesus, I'm thinking. Surely You can make it just stop. But it's not and the tube is still there, waiting. DW asks if I would like a cold cloth for my head. Not so much. Nothing else on my head is required. Thank you very much. Bless her heart. She then asked me if anyone was with me that could come in. NOBODY is getting in this thing with me lady. It's crowded enough. (I told you I was in a full blown panic attack!)

However, I did ask for a panic button. It made me feel better and it was really loud. So we try this thing again. This time I keep my eyes closed the whole time. The first test is 8 minutes lonnngggg. At first I'm still thinking it's not happening, and my finger is on the button. But then I start to pray. Jesus please help me to calm down. Jesus please help me not to push the button. Scripture begins to come to my mind about God being bigger than my sad, pathetic claustrophobic self. Romans 8:37 is a verse I memorized a couple of months ago. "NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." I'm thinking No Satan you are not winning. No, weak flesh you are not giving in. I'm thinking I am a conqueror through Jesus. The next verse comes. Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Did I mention that I had to be very still…no moving allowed? I've got a death grip on the panic button, but I'm still. Yeah God. It's working. DW says, "You're half way done. You're doing great!" The last few minutes were pure bliss…at least for me. My breathing slowed down and I was hearing this song, The Power of the Cross, playing in my head. The first test was done.

If you're still reading, there was a second round of tests. This would require about 20 minutes in the tube. The tests would run about 2-4 minutes each. I could come in and out of the tube or just work straight through. Mercy. Grace. I didn't commit either way. Just put my head down, got locked in and waited for the tests to begin. These tests came with loud noises. One was like someone using a jackhammer; the next was like gun fire in the distance then close by. A longer one, about 4 minutes, almost got me. It sounded like a freight train and I kept thinking I can't get up. There were a few more and we were done. I MADE IT! ALL THE WAY!!! Thank you Jesus. Fear is gripping, but the power of Jesus and His Word is bigger and able to handle any fear we have. This is not the way I would have chosen to experience the peace and presence of Jesus this week. But without a doubt, I am so glad that I did.

Now if we can just figure out what to do with the 600 images of my brain....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eight Weeks Later

It's been eight weeks since Every Day Faith was published! I can hardly believe how fast the time went by. God has been so faithful and so much has happened in the short time that I wanted to take a minute and post about some of it. So if you'll indulge me, read on.

The long awaited box was to be delivered on April 1st. There was just one problem-we were leaving town for a few days at 1:00pm sharp. I had convinced myself if the UPS truck didn't arrive before we left I would be o-k. Our neighbors would pick up the box and it would sit unopened until we returned. The problem is I tend to be obsessive-compulsive and I'd been waiting on this day for about 14 months. However, God didn't seem to be moving the UPS driver any closer to my house. I tracked the package on-line and even called them once or twice that day…maybe more. Then it was time to pick up my children, so I left the house. On the way to the school, a UPS Driver pulled into a McDonald's and ran inside. I seriously considered pulling behind the truck and rummaging through the packages to see if I could find the box! I'm pretty sure my kids were scared at this point.

Here's what we found waiting on the table when we got home! Love me some Big Brown trucks. I worked at UPS for several years and well, they deliver! Very quickly we celebrated and then I rode in the car for the next several hours just holding my first published Bible study. It's too cool and very humbling.

In the weeks that have passed, two charter groups have finished the study. The feedback and comments have been very encouraging. Two other groups are working on it through the summer. It's truly an honor to hear how God is using the study to change people's lives, all for His glory.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

My apologies to the faithful few who read this crazy blog. Life has gotten crazy since the release of Every Day Faith last month. I promise to post about the day I got my first copy and the horse race that has been happening since then. But for today, I wanted to share a funny story about my kids in honor of Mother's Day yesterday.

My husband made lunch for us and we ate outside on the deck. It was a beautiful day here yesterday, the birds were chirping and there was a nice cool breeze. He asked the kids what they were most thankful for about their mother. Our nine year old son said that I gave birth to him! Our daughter quickly agreed that was her thought too. That was funny, because his birth compared to his sister's was interesting. Actually they were both interesting. However, being pregnant with my son was a nightmare and I haven't gotten over it yet. I vowed never to be pregnant again. Ever! That's a little dramatic I know, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I was 36 years old and he moved constantly. It was like having a load of clothes stuck on the wash cycle in your stomach!

At 36 weeks pregnant, I begged my doctor to take him out. I literally refused to leave his office until he set a date. The doctor was so kind, but I was miserable. Rationale eventually took over, or at least my husband did and our son was born about 2 weeks later.

My husband also asked the kids what was something that they were glad I had taught them. Our 13 year old daughter said to tie her shoes! I'm still not sure she has this down pat, but at least she tries now. Then our son chimes in. "I'm glad she potty trained me!"

Me too little man, me too! That's all I'm sayin' about that.

I hope you had a great Mother's Day and that you got to laugh with your children.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Between

Today is Saturday. This particular one is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. All day I kept thinking what this day must have been like for those who lived during Jesus' ministry on earth. What were they thinking? How did those who walked with Jesus and sat at His feet spend the day in between? Those who knew that He was indeed exactly who He said He was, what must that day have been like for them? Scripture gives us a little insight, but not much. So I wondered today, this day in between.

The crucifixion brings me to my knees. There's no way to grasp such love with my finite mind. I am forever grateful that Jesus died for me. Thankfully, I live knowing that the cross wasn't the end. The grave wasn't the end. Jesus lives. There's no joy like knowing that Jesus lives. My day in between is filled with great expectation of the Easter celebration tomorrow. I hope yours is too. Sunday is coming.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Are More

I heard this song for the first time this morning. I needed to hear this song. Perhaps you do too. Here is a link to the video and below are the words. Thank you Tenth Avenue North-this is beautiful.

"Therefore , if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

2 Corinthians 5:17-19

You Are More

There's a girl in the corner With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered And the shame she can't hide
She says, "How did I get here? I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear That I've fallen too far to love"
But don't you know who you are, What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create, You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling That it's not true tonight
She knows all the answers And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better But then she's too weak to try
But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done, But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been, But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel, But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Game Changer

Last week I wrapped up the study of Jonah by Priscilla Shirer. While reflecting on what I had learned over the past six weeks, it occurred to me that there was one moment that changed my whole perspective on Jonah. I grew up going to church and Jonah was a popular Sunday School lesson. Most of the teaching was about Jonah disobeying God and being swallowed by a big fish. At some point my young mind decided that Jonah was being punished and that's how I've always viewed the story- until now.

During the early part of the study, Priscilla refers to the fish as God's grace. Huh? The game changer-Grace. Grace has been defined as God's unmerited favor. We don't deserve it, yet God lavishly gives it to us. You see God could have left Jonah to go where he wanted to- far away from God's calling. He could have left Jonah in the ocean to drown-no longer useful in God's kingdom. Instead God chose to extend grace and swallow Jonah up in a big fish and bring him back-back to the place of his calling and his usefulness to God.

It's sort of like making a u-turn when we realize we're heading in the wrong direction. We go back to the place that we know is right and start over. Grace allows for the mistakes and sets us back on the right track. It's a game changer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Timely Question

Today I finished a lesson in the Bible study, Jonah, by Priscilla Shirer. At the end of the lesson, Priscilla asked the question, " When you face dire circumstances, do you normally feel hopeful...?" I so did not want to least not kindly to that question, not today, not this week.

This week, almost without exception, every unexpected phone call or e-mail was bad news. Job changes were coming and they weren't very favorable. Sweet friends, the girlfriends for life kind, are facing tough battles with cancer. Family members are wrestling with painful decisions. While other family members are planning the funeral of their father and grandfather. Frankly it all stinks and I'm not feeling very hopeful. Not today anyway.

Today I want to stuff my face with chocolate, crawl back in bed and wake up next week.

Sorry for the ranting, the hopeful me will be back shortly.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

So how was your Valentine's Day? Did you get some roses? Or some chocolate candy? Or enjoy a special dinner out with your valentine? I did get some roses and candy, but the special dinner just didn't happen. My husband is traveling today, so we tried to go out this weekend. It didn't happen. We did manage to watch the movie RED, so that was some sweet time together. We'll have to have a special dinner out sometime soon.

I decided to make a special meal for our children tonight. Nothing fancy, just spaghetti and meatballs-their favorite. Since Steve is gone, we'd have our dinner, eat some chocolate cake and celebrate our family. The day started off well. Steve got everything ready and headed to the airport. I started on my errands and making a list for the grocery store. Then the school called. The little man was sick.

My daughter had softball practice and the little man was supposed to have baseball practice tonight as well. It became apparent that this day was not going to happen as planned. Normally I would just throw in the towel and say forget it. Not tonight- We had meatball sandwiches and ate leftover cake! We did it together and it was sweet. Our children know that we love each other and that we love them. That's a pretty good Valentine's Day if you ask me.

I hope you know that you are loved too. If no one told you today, then let God tell you. Check out these scripture verses and walk in God's love-the best kind.

Psalm 103:17-18, John 3:16, Jeremiah 31:3, John 15:9, Colossians 3:12

Monday, February 7, 2011

Subtle Differences

Last night along with millions of other people I watched Super Bowl XLV. I love the whole pre-game show and even the pre-pre-game show with all the back stories on the players. It’s a fun day for me. My husband ran out to get some burgers about 30 minutes before the game started, so I watched the pre-game show by myself. When he returned I said, “I think she sang the national anthem wrong.” It seemed so subtle to me that I wasn’t 100% sure at first. My husband thought I was just caught up in the moment, because I love that stuff. It makes me smile…all the pomp and circumstance before the big game. Unfortunately for Christina Aguilera the whole world knows today that I wasn’t mistaken. She did mess up the words to the national anthem. Honestly I felt bad for her all day today. That’s a lot of pressure and whole lot of people watching you sing live. However, it keeps occurring to me how uncertain I was if the words were wrong.

Last week in my Bible study discussion group we had a similar moment. We were reviewing David’s life and the steps he took that led to him committing adultery and murder. At the end everyone said God was mad at King David. But was he? Is that what it really says in 2 Samuel 11:27?

“After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.”

God wasn’t mad at King David. He was displeased with David’s actions. The choices he made displeased God. It’s a subtle, but very important difference to know. I make bad choices all the time that dishonor God. It’s easy to think in the conviction and consequences of those decisions that God doesn’t like me. But that’s not true. God loves me, all the time, no matter what. He loves you too and that doesn’t change.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Word

Over the last few weeks I've been reading about people choosing their one word for the year. This idea intrigued me. If you read this post, you'll see I don't necessarily do very well with New Year's resolutions. However, the thought of having one word for the year got my attention. Then like a surprise present I found this website! Check it out, my one word. Click on the media tab and listen to Pastor Mike Ashcraft's sermon at the beginning of this year. He explains the whole thought process behind the one word and gives some great examples from his one word experiences. He talks about the one word being the funnel or scope that you see everything through this year. That's pretty cool and doable for me.

So my one word for this year is Surrender. Surrender is how I will weigh decisions this year regarding family, ministry, health, finances and my relationships. I will be asking myself questions like, "Does this choice surrender my desires to Christ?", or "Am I working this out on my own, or did I surrender to God's timing and plans for me?" I chose "surrender" a couple of weeks ago. Since then I've been praying about a scripture to capture my heart with this word. Philippians 1: 20-21 says,

"For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. "NLT

Paul is actually speaking these words while in prison, so they seem a little harsh. But in the context of my one word, surrender, I want to be bold this year in my choices. Choosing to surrender and die to my choices, my desires and selfishness will be truly living-living for Christ.

What do you think? What is your one word? Do share!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Day Reflections

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised." That's Proverbs 31:30 and it's what was on my mind when I woke up this morning. No kidding.

When I went to bed last night there was a snowy blizzard falling down around us. A rare treat for the South and it was incredibly beautiful to watch. I've never seen that much snow falling that fast. School was already closed for today and we couldn't wait to get up and play outside. There was a cold blanket of white across the yard just waiting to be run through.

We got up, put on our warmest clothes, gloves and boots and headed out to make a snowman. Much to our dismay, the snow that was so inviting last night was now covered with a thin layer of ice. Each step we took was like breaking through glass. We tried to make a snow angel instead. You couldn't move your arms or legs for the ice. We'd been deceived. The snow was pretty to look at, but the ice made it hard to enjoy.

That's a good illustration of what Proverbs 31:30 is talking about. It's easy to look the part, to be fun and inviting. I dress like I'm fine; I smile like I'm fine; heck, I'll even tell you I'm fine. The truth is sometimes I'm not. Life is hard and challenging. But I desperately want to be the woman who fears the Lord. I want to be the woman who follows hard after God, obeys His Word and loves His people. It's a daily choice and it's so much easier than being deceptive and fleeting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finishing Well

Happy 2011! I know I'm a little behind, but I've been mulling this over for awhile now. The New Year always brings about thoughts of commitments, plans and resolutions? Do you make any? Do you keep them?

I used to make resolutions…at least in my mind I did. Very seldom did I keep them though. You know the ones, like lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, stop yelling, read more, pray often, etc, etc, etc. Somehow I always manage to lose steam with my well intentioned plans for a new year. (Thus my mulling and pondering over the last few days.) How will the year 2011 be different? It's not that I don't want to succeed, but I think my approach has been flawed.

Recently I heard Dennis Miller, the comedian, say, "My resolutions are to get fat and smoke, because I know I can do that." That's funny, but his logic rings true to me. Most all of the resolutions I've made have been things that I could do, at least that's what I thought. The truth is that I've not kept them because I've not been able to exercise control. This year I want it to be different. I want to finish well.

As I've prayed over the New Year this past week, God kept bringing this verse to my mind. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." The flaw for me in failing to keep my resolutions has been in not having accountability, not having wise counselors to encourage me. As the verse says, it takes many advisers. This year instead of making my mental list and keeping it to myself, I'm sharing it with my family and prayer team. The key is that these people love God, love me and get where I am. They're not afraid to be honest with me.

If you struggle with keeping your resolutions and finishing well, then find someone to keep you accountable. Ask God to give you someone who loves Him and you unconditionally. Then wait and see who He brings. I met some of my closest companions on the phone, on a ball field and standing in line at a restaurant. You'll be amazed at what happens when you commit your plans to God.