Saturday, January 28, 2012

clean house

You've probably seen the show on TLC called Clean House. My husband and I watched it for the first time the other day. The show can be summed up in ONE word. YUK! I cannot believe that people actually live that way. I certainly would not want to subject myself or my family to that type of lifestyle. Or anyone that I loved.

Or would I?

"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple."

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

I guess I should not be so quick to judge the person who does not live in a clean house. My temple is certainly not fit for a King!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

stop, drop & roll!

"Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly."
Proverbs 14:29

If you have come here looking for an article on fire safety, you're out of luck! However, what I am going to write about can be just as dangerous.

Nobody I know wakes up in the morning thinking, "Boy, I hope this is a terrible day!" That would be crazy. Unfortunately, whether you wake up wishing for it or not, it happens. You spill your coffee on your lap while trying to get out of your car, or maybe you have an argument with your spouse before leaving home, traffic gets backed up and you end up running late to work. While these events are certainly trivial in the grand scheme of things, they cause just enough of a headache to steer your day into the wrong lane of the emotional highway!

I had one of these days yesterday. By the time I walked through my front door, I was DONE. All I wanted to do was change my clothes, crawl into my bed and go to sleep! I was short-tempered with my husband, and impatient with my child. I was NOT fun to be around. A personal time-out is rarely an option, so I had to adjust my disposition quickly, or I was going to cause a crash!

Enter Holy Spirit. It was at this time that God gently reminded me that I am not on my own. He is the creator of our emotions, therefore He wants to help us control them. He gave me the following three steps to follow:

STOP what you're doing and pray. God wants us to ask for His help when we are helpless and unable to control our feelings.

DROP your attitude! This is the dangerous part...poor attitudes only hurt ourselves and those around us.

Roll with the Holy Spirit! Put things back into perspective and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and actions back in to righteousness!

After practicing these strategies, it made the world of difference in my day. We, as humans, are naturally selfish, self-centered creatures. We must remind ourselves on a daily basis that this life is truly NOT about us!

Next time you need assistance maneuvering back into the right lane, STOP, DROP & ROLL!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

where the heart is

The man answered, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all
your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as
yourself.'" Luke 10:27

My husband and I adopted a baby boy from Guatemala in 2007. It was the most wonderful experience. There are not many things, in my mind, that compare to picking up that sweet Mayan package and welcoming him into our home! Having said that, waiting to bring him home was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. We spent his 1st Christmas with him when he was 4 months old and then had to leave him for 6 months. During that time, I literally felt like I was missing a piece of my heart. It was hard for me to focus and function from day to day. I was not complete.

I believe that God uses our life experiences as a classroom for His teaching. As I look back on that particular semester in my life, I am reminded of the invaluable lesson He taught me about the heart. God is not interested in having only a PART of my heart. He wants ALL of it. Just as I did not feel complete until my son was home with me, our relationship with Christ will never be complete if our hearts are not completely surrendered to Him.

Lord, this was not a class I would have signed up for on my own. The assignments were difficult. Sometimes painful...but I am very thankful for what I learned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GPS (God's Piloting System)

Whoever came up with the GPS is a genius! I never have to worry about getting lost with it in my car. There is only one thing I hate about it. THE WOMAN WHO TALKS TO YOU WHILE DRIVING! She's so annoying. And, heaven forbid you spontaneously choose another route. "Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating!" UGH!
Even though I cannot stand to hear the phrase, "recalculating," I do understand it's purpose. When you hear it, you know that you've made a wrong turn. Although you may still reach your destination by taking your own path, it is not the path that the GPS has selected for you. The route that the satellite computer draws out for you may not be the quickest, but you can drive comfortably knowing that you are not going to get lost.
We can very easily apply this same principle to our spiritual life. God has mapped out directions for all of us in His word. While He certainly will allow us to redirect ourselves and travel down a different road, He will not promise us a nice, quiet, safe trip. There will be many more road blocks, pot holes and traffic jams. And we will have to listen to the Holy Spirit urging us to "recalculate" around every corner. So, if you're looking for a more peaceful drive, I suggest you remain on the road God has paved for you!
I won't promise you a trouble free trip, but I am sure of one will NOT get lost!
Lord, you are the driver of my car! Thank you for your, help me to follow them!

Monday, January 16, 2012

the waiting room

*Edited to add: This poem was selected to be published in a book of poetry that will be released in March of 2012. I will provide the link to view it online, for any of my family members/friends who may be interested! *
This is another re-post from my family blog. I wrote this while waiting for God to bring my son home from Guatemala. The words are fitting for ANYONE who is waiting on God.

As I enter through the doorway
My heart is pounding in my chest
My knees are weak, my palms are wet
I do not feel ready for this test

The room is far from empty
There is a soul in every chair
Wondering if He's heard their cries
And listening for an answer to their prayers

I've never seen this room before
My life has been pretty smooth
But I was always told the time would come
To take my seat in the Waiting Room

So, here I am Lord, waiting for this child
He's in Your hands, he's happy
You've sent me glimpses of his smile
I'm waiting now for my turn to have him and know that he's my child

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds.."
I know that's what you ask of me, Lord
But I feel too weak this time

It seems like I've been in here forever
It's getting hard for me to breathe
Where are You, God? I need you!
Hear my earnest plea!

I am on my knees and praying
My face is on the ground
Just when I thought I was all alone
That's when I heard the sound

I looked up and I saw what looked like an ordinary man
He knelt beside me
Looked into my eyes
And offered me His hand

I had no choice but to take it
His voice filled my heart with peace
"Walk with me, child! I'm here with you
Let all your worries cease!"

"I know this time is hard for you
and you do not understand
Trust in me, stay close to me
I promise to fulfill my plan!"

"These months were not intended to harm you
You've done exactly what I'd hoped you would do
You brought me honor, glory and praise
throughout your time in the Waiting Room."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

i was martha today

I woke up this morning and cleaned my house from top to bottom. I went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen, bathed my son, and baked a cake for my husband. Every part of my body is SCREAMING, "Enough, I'm tired!" Although I am physically tired, my mind hasn't felt this invigorated in a long time. I was so productive today. It feels good.

I was proud of myself until I sat down a few minutes ago. I realized that NOT ONCE today did I pray or spend time in God's word. Productive, huh? It reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in the book of Luke:

" 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
I was Martha today. I was so busy, I forgot all about Jesus waiting in my living room for me to sit at His feet. Although I am sure my busyness disappointed Him, it's never too late. Jesus doesn't leave. He waits on us to come to Him. He is patient.
Well, it's late and I'm very sleepy. I better head on to bed before it gets any later. But first, I have to stop by the living room...

Friday, January 13, 2012



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

stomach bug

The stomach bug hit our house the day before yesterday. So far, it's only affected my son. He is better now, but we are ALL THREE pooped!

I will resume with my daily devotions tomorrow night! Thank you for your patience!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

there will be shadows

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."
John 1:5 (NLT)
"Keep your eyes on the 'Son' and you will not see the shadows."
I read this online today. It is a nice thought. Unfortunately, it could not be further from the truth. It's a common misconception. Once you become a Christian, your life will be relatively easy. Smooth.
The truth is, the longer you keep your eyes on the Son, the closer you get to Him. The closer you get to him, the more threatening you become to His enemy. Satan's number one goal is to see how many shadows he can paint onto the walls of our lives. Just like our own, his shadow's appear in different shapes and sizes.
Just to name a few. While the Christian life IS an abundant life, God doesn't promise that all of our days on earth will be bright and warm. No matter how long we "keep our eyes on the Son," there will always be shadows. My goal in my Christian walk is not to avoid the dark spots, but rather trust that God will deliver me from them.
Without the sun, shadows would not appear. The same is true of our Christian life...Satan isn't going to bother casting shadows on those who are not standing in the Son. Those of you who are facing darkness right now, continue your journey in the Light. I PROMISE, that shadow will eventually fade!
Lord, I thank you for your light. Help me to walk in it DAILY!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

there's something about mary...

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
... and I am NOT talking about Cameron Diaz! The Mary I am referring to is the mother of Jesus. I have thought a lot about her lately. For whatever reason, God has placed her on my heart. I thought I would write about her. We do not hear all that much about this Mary except at Christmas time. In her own way, like me, Mary was an adoptive mom. Although there are NUMEROUS differences between us, there are also a few similarities. Here are a few:
-God chose Mary to be a mother.
-The child she would soon raise was not the product of her
relationship with Joseph.
-Mary had to rely on God to tell her when the baby would be born.

In Luke chapter 1 beginning in verse 28, the angel approached Mary about God's plan for her. She was very afraid at first. She could not understand why God had chosen her. She was plain. A simple girl. I believe that's why He chose her. There was nothing extraordinary about her. She just loved Him every day. When the angel told her what was going to take place and how it would happen, Mary didn't ask any questions. Her response was simply , " I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." And that was the end of that.
That's the BIGGEST difference between me and this Mary. I rarely, (if ever), simply say “ok” to God without offering Him my two cents. I know that God wants to do extraordinary things in
my life. He wants that for all of His children. Could it be that God is waiting on me to have a heart like Mary? Is He waiting for me to simply say, “I am Your servant. May it be to me as You have said." My prayer for myself is that God will help me to trust Him the way Mary did. It definitely isn't something that comes naturally to me.
Thankfully He is a patient God!

Lord, create in me a heart like this Mary. I want to trust totally in Your plan for my life. I know that it is bigger and better than the plans I’ve made for myself. This begins with saying “ok” to You and Your will.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

here's a tip...

"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)
Always leave a tip!
My husband and I used one of our many restaurant gift cards that we received for Christmas the other night. I will not give the name of the business, but I have to say, the service STUNK! Our food took forever to arrive, our salads, appetizer and meal all came at the same time. I was very irritated.
My initial reaction to our poor service was to not leave a tip. You know, the whole, "I'll show them" attitude. (Christ-like, I know!) The food turned out to be very good and as the meal progressed, my pouty, self-entitled attitude slowly subsided. I began to think about our server. I do not know their story, but everybody has one. Maybe they live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe they are a single parent. Maybe they had served grouches, like myself, all day and they were tired. Maybe they were sick. Who knows. We finished our food and when we received our check, my husband left them about a 25% tip. Had they earned it? Not based on their performance while we were at their table. In spite of the service, the right thing to do was to leave, not just a tip, but a very good tip.
Simply because how much money would we accumulate at the end of each day if God tipped us based on our performance?
Lord, thank you for your grace. Forgive me for my, sometimes self-righteous attitude. I am nothing without you. Help me to show others the same love and compassion you have shown to me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

sweetheart, you're not obeying...

"Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the
right thing to do." Ephesians 6:1 (NLT)
I've mentioned before that I have a five year old son. While he is certainly the light in my life and the best part of my day, at times, he DRIVES ME UP THE WALL! I try really hard not to raise my voice at him. (Somewhere in the distance, I can hear my mother and husband chuckling!) But I really try! If I said it once today, I said it a thousand times, "Sweetheart, you are not obeying!" Each time I said this to him I, of course, recited the verse in the bible that says, " Children, obey your parents.."
As parents, we wind up and pitch that verse to our children as if it doesn't apply to us! We are, in fact, God's children. How often do we obey Him? I know, in my own life, I struggle with this. I don't have trouble obeying the "important" commands. It's the day to day whispers that I tend to ignore. So, as I tucked my child into bed tonight I thanked God for my son's life. I prayed that he would grow up and make good choices. I prayed that he would listen to the grown ups in his life who love him. I prayed that he would have a kind, sweet spirit and obey.
Now, as I sit here alone, I have to wonder how many times during my day God is looking down on me and thinking, "Sweetheart, you are not obeying.."
Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me that, as your child, I have an even greater responsibility to obey you. Forgive me my failures and shortcomings. Help me to set a good example for the child you have entrusted to me. I am so thankful for your mercies...

Monday, January 2, 2012

blessing in disguise

I have stilled and quieted my soul. Psalm 131:2
I left work early today to pick up my son from school. If you've ever experienced the car line at an elementary school, you know how it can take an ETERNITY for you to actually get to your child. When I arrived, I immediately began to get irritated at the sight of the LONG line. I very grumpily pulled up behind the other cars and turned off my engine. "I cannot believe the amount of time I am about to waste sitting here in this line," I thought to myself.
And then I realized something.
It was quiet. No noise whatsoever. Silence. And boy, was it golden! I was almost afraid to move! I didn't want to scare it away. You see, in addition to being a mother of a five year old boy, I am a teacher in an elementary school classroom. Quiet is not a part of my day. EVER! So, for what turned out to be a brief moment in time, I was given the gift of peace, wrapped up in the package of a quiet car.
My, how my attitude changed. The very thing I looked at as a nuisance, became the best part of my day!
Thank You, Lord, for my gift today. I complain so often about the constant noise in my life, and yet I almost missed the blessing of a quiet car. Thank you for being so attentive to my needs. I love you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

i am not strong enough!

“…Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:29-31
Have you ever felt so weighted down by your circumstances that you felt you might break under the pressure? I feel that way now. My family is experiencing some pretty heavy rainfall and my umbrella of strength is about to fold. Tonight, for a brief period, I found myself curled up on my bed in the dark, crying. All I could think to say to God at this time was, “I am not strong enough for this!” And that is how I feel. I am so tired. I feel so weak. I am NOT strong enough to handle some of the circumstances that are raining down on my world. After I finished telling God all that I felt unqualified to do, He spoke. It was, of course, not an audible voice, but I felt it in my heart. It was so simple. “I know you are not strong enough to handle your circumstances. I AM.”
And that was it. How true. Of course I am not strong enough. I do not have to be. That’s
God’s job! He does not expect us to be able to weather some of the storms that blow into our lives. He only expects us to hold His hand while we’re out on the water. And as long as we keep our eyes on Him, He promises not to let us sink!

Dear Lord, it’s raining so hard in my world right now it’s hard for me to see Your face. I guess this is where faith floats in. Please help me to trust You. I know that You will not let go of my hand!