Tuesday, February 28, 2012

put on the right shoes!

I have heel spurs. There are days when I come home from work and I can barely walk. Literally. On Tuesday nights I am taking a class at a local University. I get home around 9:00. Well, by the time I rolled in from class tonight, I was in tears. I immediately kicked off my shoes and went straight to bed. I desperately needed to put my feet up. Poor thing...
Don't feel sorry for me!
I do not wear the appropriate shoes! My mother fusses at me all the time. Not only do I not wear shoes that have extra support for my heels, I wear FLATS most of the time. They are cute, but provide me with no support or protection whatsoever. How stupid is that? If I refuse to wear the proper apparrel, I only have myself to blame for my pain.
As Christians, what type of gear do we suit up in before leaving home? In Ephesians 6:11, we are instructed to, "put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." How many more times do we have to rush home in tears before we remember to dress in the appropriate "clothing?" We MUST put on the support and protection of our Savior! Unfortunately, the pain of this world will not disappear, but it will be a whole lot easier to bear...trust me.
Do you need to change your shoes?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Before I opened this blog, I posted my devotions/inspirational stories on my family site. From time to time, I will give you a link to those pages rather than copy/pasting them to this blog. Some of you may have already read them, but if you are new to my blogs, chances are, you haven't.
So, click HERE for today's devotional!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! HAPPY MONDAY!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

are you smarter than a five year old?

My sweet five year old son has been sick for the past two days. It literally breaks my heart to see him like this. You truly do wish you could take it away from them. My husband and I have felt so sorry for JP and have felt so helpless. Little did we know he wasn't quite so worried...
This is a conversation that took place between Scott and JP in bed earlier this evening:
JP: Daddy, I'm sick.
SCOTT: I know, buddy. I don't like to see you sick. I wish I could make it all better.
JP: Don't be sorry, daddy. It's okay. I prayed and God's gonna make me better.
What a powerful statement. JP might be small, but his faith is GIGANTIC! I wonder what would happen if we exercised that same faith! Whether we're physically sick, or spiritually suffering, God wants to heal us.
He may be waiting on us to come to Him with a believing heart!
"Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of
your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger."
(Psalms 8:2 ESV)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ocean of sound

"And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds," Ephesians 4:23
I love to listen to the ocean. The sound of crashing waves and seagulls playing on the sand is a very calming song to me. What I wouldn't give to be able to close my eyes and smell the salty sea air and listen to the rolling tide at any given moment.
The sounds that I am exposed to during the day are anything but calming. I am a school teacher. For seven hours out of my day, I am closed up in a room with various noises. Some are very loud, some are nothing more than an underlying hum. Nevertheless, quiet is NOT written into the daily lesson plan! By noon, I am drowning in a very large ocean of sound!
At the end of my work day, I climb the hill to my car and slide into the driver's seat. I drink in the silence like a tall glass of ice tea. And I assure you, I take the long way home!
Constant noise is kind of like water. When you are immersed in it for an extended amount of time, it can be hard to get it out of your ears. I wonder what life would be like for Christians if we swam in the sea of Christ on a daily basis. What if we immersed ourselves in His Holy Water for an extended amount of time each day?
I bet it would make it hard for us to get Him out of our ears!
Lord, push the noises out of my mind and allow me to fill myself with You!

Monday, February 20, 2012

marriage rocks

* This is a re-post from my Sunshine blog that is no longer active. It has received very positive feedback, so I thought I would publish it again on this site for those of you who may not have read it. *

Or is your marriage ON the rocks?! If you have been married for more than a few years, you have probably experienced both. Most of us enter through the door of marriage not fully aware of what is waiting for us on the other side. Contrary to what is splashed before us on the big screen, maintaining a healthy, loving relationship is a lot of work. No, let me rephrase that, it is a full-time job!

Although my husband and I love each other dearly, at times, it is difficult for us to live together. I know, I know! I can hear your gasps from this side of the computer. But it’s true. We are conditioned to believe that love conquers all! Unfortunately, this is NOT the case. It takes a whole lot more than love to keep a marriage afloat. In thinking about this topic, I have come up with a few anchors you may want to keep on deck to keep your marriage from drowning in the
everyday sea of stresses.

1. Put God first. This is the FIRST and most important lifeline. If God is not first in your life, you can expect troubled waters. Marriage is made up of two self-centered, imperfect human beings residing together under one roof. Without God in the center of your home, it simply is not going to work.

2. Put your spouse's needs before your own. This concept goes against our natural instinct as humans. As much as we would like to believe that we are selfless people, we aren’t! And that is okay. Each day when you wake up, pray that God will show you ways to put the needs of your partner before your own. I promise He will guide you.

3. Keep your mind and body emotionally healthy. Commit to spending some time to yourself every day. Find a hobby, read a book, journal, exercise. No matter your plan, when you take care of yourself, it makes it easier to care for others.

4. Read a book about the opposite sex. When we're in school, in order to learn the subject, the teacher expects us to read the material. Men and women are COMPLETELY different species. Wouldn't it make sense to read everything we can in an attempt to learn what makes them tick?

These are just a few. Remember that nothing worth having comes easy. No relationship
will ever be perfect. But if you wake up daily and grab hold of the anchors provided, you will, at the very least, stay afloat!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

turn it loose

My son, JP, loves balloons. For Valentine's Day, I bought him a green frog balloon that said, "I Love You" on the front of it. It was really cute and boy did he love it! I definitely got my money's worth out of it (which was only a dollar!) He has carried it all over the house, played with it in his room, and tortured the dog a little.

Today while I was in the kitchen washing dishes, JP walked up to me and said, "Mommy, it's time to let my balloon go." Puzzled, I looked at him and said, "What do you mean, 'let it go'?" His answer brought tears to my eyes. "I want to give it to God." I'm sure you can guess what we did next...he grabbed his balloon by the string and we headed out the door. Once we were in the driveway, he turned it loose. We stood and watched as his gift was carried away with the wind. I smiled.

What do you need to let go of today? If you are anything like me, you may not know where to begin. Spend a little time with God in His word. Eventually, He will reveal to you exactly what you're holding on to. And then He only asks you to do one thing...

Grab the string, look to the Son and turn it loose!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

i'm fine

I knew a lady once who was battling cancer. She wore a hat to work every day. Underneath her hat, she wore the most beautiful smile. Each time I saw her, I would ask her the same question, "How are you doing?" Without fail, her response was always the same, "I'm fine!" I knew she wasn't fine. Tired, anxious, pain-stricken, sick...maybe. But not fine. Still, I would politely accept her answer and allow her to move on.

Fine. You have to admit, it sounds much more appealing than:
Financially strapped
At the end of the rope
Strung out
Assuming no one wants to be burdened with the truth, we tend to stuff our true emotions under our hat and smile. I've done it. Many times. And I'd venture to say that you have too. The only problem is, God did not mean for us to shoulder our burdens alone.
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Life is too difficult to walk through without the support of friends and family. "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity on the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
So, the next time someone you know takes the time to ask you how you're doing, before you respond, take your hat off!

" And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! Remember that the only relationship that meets our EVERY need is the one we have with Jesus!

Thank you, Lord, for your love!

Monday, February 13, 2012

the light stick

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1
Our worship service was amazing Sunday. The message ended with our pastor encouraging all of us to be a light in the dark world. They gave each of us a glow stick. I'm sure you've seen them. They are usually green until you break them and then they turn a glowing yellow. The sticks were to serve as a tangible reminder, throughout our week, to "shine."
My son loves those sticks. My husband saved his until we picked JP up from his class. When he saw us, he immediately zeroed in on the prize! Scott broke it and handed it to him. His reaction was so cute... "Thank you, daddy, now I don't have to be afraid of the dark!" JP thanked him all the way home. It was so sweet!
And so profound. One day, God handed us His Light...
When was the last time we said thank you?
Thank You Father! Because of Jesus, we don't have to be afraid of the Dark.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

don't miss the party

"For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy."
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

My son is in kindergarten. His class will be celebrating Valentine's Day this Friday with a party. JP is so excited! All week we have been preparing for the big event. We bought a box of Valentines for his classmates, we went out and bought a big bag of assorted candy to pass out. He was so proud because he addressed each Valentine all by himself! What fun!

JP is very smart. He is beginning to read and he writes fairly well for his age. There's just one problem. Often times he is so distracted by his surroundings during the day, he doesn't get his work done. This has been a big problem recently. He LOVES school, he just has better things to do than work! Tonight when I was tucking him in bed, he asked me if tomorrow was the day he would get "valentimes" from his friends. I answered, "Yes, but if you do not finish your work, you may miss the party." He promised me that he would work really hard. So, we shall see!

It is a little unfair for me to get so upset at JP when I have the very same problem. In this classroom called LIFE, I am usually so distracted by everything going on around me, I tend to stop working. This can be very dangerous. Why? Because there's going to be a party. It will take place in Heaven and God wants all of us to be there! As a student of Christ, my assignment on this earth is to pass out as many invitations as I can. If I get distracted on a daily basis and fail to complete my work, there might be someone who misses out on the party. All because of me.

Lord, help me to stay focused on You at all times during my day. It really is the key to becoming a successful student!

Everything you need to know in life, you actually DO learn in kindergarten.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

what are you wearing?

It is the first thing I put on each morning. Even before my clothes. I wrap it around me like a warm blanket. When I am ready to leave my house, I slide it on and button it up like a winter coat. It is the first thing people notice when they see me. I have many of them, so every reaction is different. It depends on which one I am wearing at the time.

Want me to tell you what I am referring to?


That's right, we all have one. And we all get to choose which one we put on. Lucky for us, we have direct access to the ultimate Designer. He's already told us in His Manual what looks best.

"Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned." Matthew 12: 37 TLB

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," Galatians 5:22

"Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and
majesty." Job 40:10

Sometimes the one I leave my house in is NOT the one I wear throughout the day. It changes. That is why it is so important for us to, "pray continually..." (1 Thessalonians 5:17.)

I'm no fashion expert, that's for sure. But I can tell you that if you want to make a positive statement with your "wardrobe", allow God to dress you each morning.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


My church is beginning a new series next week entitled, "Overwhelmed." I am looking more forward to this sermon series than any other one we've done. By the grace of God, I have never been the victim of drugs, or wrestled with alcohol addiction. However, I have enough material in my life to write a novel on feeling overwhelmed.
My husband has suffered from Crohn's disease, other auto-immune diseases, and dangerous infections (as a result of multiple surgeries) for the past several years. I will certainly spare you the ugly details, but living with chronic illness is NO picnic. For anyone. I have found myself juggling my job, motherhood, our home and being a caregiver to my husband, more times than I can count. Overwhelmed? Yes, I am quite familiar with it.
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7
During those times in my life when I feel like I am being pulled into the violent current of my circumstances, God uses this verse to stabilize my feet in the sand. I'm sure you have found yourself struggling to stand alongside the water's edge. You may be there now. If so, close your eyes and ask the Creator of the waves to hold you.
And rest assured that He will!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God painted a smile today

There is usually nothing pretty about my morning. In addition to myself, I have the responsibility of getting my five year old son out of bed, fed, dressed and out the door for school. We leave our house at 7:00, so each morning, I am pulled out of my dreams and onto the cold, hardwood floor at 5:30. And each morning I am less than excited. No one will ever accuse me of being a morning person!
This morning was no different. My son was very cooperative, so while our morning was operating pretty smoothly, I was still grumpy simply because I was awake! My, how I longed to be enveloped in the warm comfort of my soft bed...
I dropped JP off in the car line and headed down the ramp and onto the highway towards work. Once the trees cleared my vision, I saw it. The most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. God had painted purple, red, pink and white across the blue backdrop sky. Breathtaking.
"... He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the
brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth."
2 Samuel 23:4
All of a sudden, I wasn't so grumpy. My pouty portrait had been replaced with a smile, painted by God. There was nothing left for me to do but thank Him for sharing His canvas with me at that moment. It was just what I needed.
Too often, we get so entangled in our daily responsibilities that we miss our sunrise. I would like to encourage you, today, to stop what you're doing from time to time and glance around you..
God might have a painting He wants to share!