Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Fill Ins #113

Good morning everyone, Happy Friday (well actually it's Thursday night, but I wanted to spend time reading in the morning). I'm missing getting to all my bloggy friends, but things have been off kilter all week at our house. I want to drop by and leave some love on your blogs, and let you know how much I appreciate all of you. I also want to thank everyone for praying for Gma, on last report today she'll be in the hospital a few more days. Of course Brinn was sick this week, and now Brett has come down with Brinn's flu, as for me let's just say it's not the best time of the month for me to be off my game. That's okay though because God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Just a small bump in the road.

Anyway it's time for Friday Fill Ins. Just something fun to keep me in touch. So stop by the Friday Fill Ins blog to see what other's are fillin in. we go!

1. I'm free in Jesus, I'm washed clean by his blood, I will live in his kingdom forever.

2. Why do I have curly hair now and not when I use to pay a ton of money for perms, and now I want straight hair, and it's curly and difficult to deal with?

3. How does this stimulius plan work, anyway, and where does all this money come from? Hmmm!

4. Every morning, I put Make up on my face, exactly the same way I've been putting it on for years. Foundation, 3 colors of eyeshadow earthtones, eye liner, and mascara. Blush is usually a no, unless I seem a bit paler than normal.

5. I consider myself lucky because, I know the God who loves me, I have a family who loves me, I have a job that considers me valuable, I have a home with food for my family, and I have friends who love and pray for me and my family here in the valley and all over the world how. That is not luck that's blessings from above.

6. One day we’ll see Jesus face to face. Hey isn't that a song!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking care of a sick husband, because he always takes care of me when I'm sick, and reading, tomorrow my plans include WW meeting, and really no other plans except maybe grocery shopping and Sunday, I want to go to church, because I didn't get to go last week with my Brinn boo sick, and then just not much else, maybe watch a movie.

Well that's it for me. Hugs to you all, and hope you have a good weekend, I'll be around reading some blogs I'm sure.



ABC's of the Word - C

C Is our Letter for this week, and today the word God placed on my heart is
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
This morning as I sat down to read my daily Bible, I was praying for comfort my husbands Grandmother, Betty. She's been in the hospital since Sunday morning with pneumonia complicated by emphysema, congestive heart failure, and she's 84. The doctors thought she would come home yesterday, but they kept her again last night. Right in the middle of my prayer my phone rang, it was my husband and Grandma's gotten worse he said. His mom is on her way to the hospital now. I asked Brett are you praying about Grandma, he said all day, I said I know your praying for Grandma, but are you praying to God for you about how you feeling about Grandma. His answer no, probably not. He's very upset over his Gma (that' s what he calls her), they are very close. He took his past Tuesday off and spent the day with her at the hospital, he loves to make her laugh, and he wanted to encourager and pray with her.
So I ask for prayers for Betty that God would comfort her and take the sickness out of her body, and ask for prayer for my husband Brett that he would feel comfort from our Holy Father.
Grandma was the woman who took him to church when he was little and prayed for him for his salvation. When we met, she told me that she'd been praying for God to bring me to her precious grandson for a long time. She loves to sit now and talk scripture with her precious grandson, I'm praying God will grant them some more time together.
May you all find comfort in the Lord today, and every day.
Fro more ABC's of the Word head over to Pam's at Grey Like Snuffies. Just click on the Rose at the top.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekends Never Go As Planned/Work, Health & updates and Prayer Request

First I want to let everyone of my blogin friends, just how truly blessed I am to have met you all, my life has been enriched, and God has used you in so many ways in my life to draw me closer to Him. Thank you for all the constant up lift in prayers, and beautiful comments you leave me. Just wanted you to know.

Well you know those weekends where you think you've got it all planned out and it turns out everything changes. Yep we've had one of those.

Friday turned out that Brinn got invited over to a friends to play after school, Brett already had plans to have a friend come over and watch one of their guy movies in the theater room. So instead of hanging at home, I thought cool I'll get my grocery shopping out of the way, and I can do it by myself. (I like going by myself, no one asking for this or that just get my list and go). So after I got home from the store, I headed over to my daughters friends. They live 3 streets behind us so I walked. It was about 8pm. Our other friends were there so we hung out and talked, next thing you know it's 10pm. It wasn't planned but it was fun.

Saturday morn, Brinn was up as usual and I got up around 8:30, then Brett about an hour later. Things seemed fine, we were planning to go visit our mom's after I got back from my WW meeting. While I was having my tea, Brinn says mom my shoulders really hurt, so I rubbed them. Then she says her forehead hurts like she banged it, and she was cold. Now Brinn is rarely cold, this is a girl who would wear flipflops and shorts all year round, and her idea of a winter jacket is a sweatshirt. Brinn is also notorious for spiking fevers out of no where, but the checked the thermometer and so she covered up with 3 blankets. Brett sent me to my meeting. When I left the meeting called home and yep she had a fever, 100.3. Stop at the store pick up some supplies and head home.

I sent Brett to visit his mom and his Grandma. Brett's grandma was in the hospital on Thursday she has ephasima and she's 84, and the ephasima is getting worse. Brett went over and had lunch with his mom, and then spoiled his Gma as he calls her with her favorite things.

Brinn's fever went all the way up to 103.6, and we had one stomach incident involving Gatorade fruit punch. And she slept on and off all day Saturday and Saturday night. So no church this morning and on and off fevers. She's on the road to feeling better, she's at about 101.00 and Tylenol seems to do the trick. Guess I'll be home tomorrow and lovin on my girl.

It's funny whenever Brinn gets sick I go back when she was a baby. It's just me and her, she wants cuddles and to be fed. With 103 fever she really is a bit wobbly so I indulge. She curls up on my lap, and falls asleep. I can't help but love it, and soak in the comfort of being able to protect her, and that she thinks I'm the best mom in the world. I realize the fact is it won't be long before she won't be able to fit in my lap and all the things that make her sad I won't be able to fix. I pray over my her all the time for the Lord to keep a hedge of protection around her.

Now I have a prayer request for Brett's grandma his mom called and she had to go back to the hospital again, she's having severe trouble breathing. We are comforted by Grandmas relationship with the Lord, and we don't know anymore than that are keeping her overnight. So right now we just ask for the Lord to comfort her, and for doctor's wisdom in treating her.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers regarding my work meeting. It did turn out well. Working for a company as small as ours, there can be some interesting tension. People tend to complain to each other then it filters around becomes gossip, and then blows up out of proportion. That's what was happening. But I soaked in God's word, and prayed to have His will, and His words and the meeting actually ended on a good note.

On another note, God has also answered the prayers offered for me regarding my health. In the 8 years since I've been diagnosed I have had the best test results I've ever had. Praise God!

So I hope all of your weekends were blessed.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fill Ins #112

Oh TGIF, oh yeah it's Friday (it maybe 11:30pm but it's Friday) and it's time for Friday Fill In's. If you go to the Friday Fill ins you can check out other bloggers too.

1-3 are courtesy of Mar this we go!
1. Give me some pictures, paper, and fun embellishments and I'll turn it into a beautiful scrapbook page to remember the occasion by.

2. Whenever I listen to the news and here all the budget crisis, and all the cuts they make to schools, old people, I have to wonder how come the state senators and all the legislators, how come they are getting their salaries cut? I'm so thankful that God is the one really in control.

3. I wish Jesus would come back soon. I'm looking to the heavens.
4. Ben and Jerry's Heath Coffee Ice Cream, was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious 5 weeks ago.
5. I have to remember this verse To live in this world. Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1Peter 2:11-12. I have to live in the world but not be of the world.

6. Other than this one, my friend Heather's at On The Road is the last blog I commented on, stop by and say hi.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to visiting with some friends a bit and then catching up on reading my of all my blog friends, especially ABC's of the Word gals, tomorrow my plans include WW watchers meeting hoping for a better weigh in than last week and visiting the moms mine and my mother in law and grandmother in law. Sunday, I want to spend time at church, maybe say hi to some people I haven't met yet, and then come home, work out, move to phase two of Brinns room excavation and read.
Have a fun weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

ABC's of the Word - B

It's Thursday and time for the ABC's of the Word. Hosted by Pam at Grey Like Snuffie, click on the flower to read other's are sharing. The letter this week is B, and my word is Beloved.
Colossians 3:12-13
12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

In the study notes of my Bible, John MacArthur's tells us that being God's beloved "means believers are the objects of God's incomprehensible special love."

I needed to be reminded of this this morning. This entire verse is so powerful. It is no small thing being called God's beloved. This is not the love we feel for even those closes to us, this is the love of God. Think about it God's love for us is incomprehensible. The American Heritage Dictionary definition says this "Difficult or impossible to understand or comprehend; Impossible to know or fathom: incomprehensible mysteries. Having no limits; boundless."

Paul also tells us in Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." In this passage my study notes say this. "Because believers are accepted in Him, then they like Him are beloved of God." God loves us like He loves Jesus, His one and only son.

I'm in awe of the fact that I am God's beloved. I am struggling with an issue regarding work today. It has brought up much anxiety for me, today I reminded with this scripture how small this issue is, as I am reminded I am the Almighty God's beloved, a love that is limitless, unshakable, boundless. That what ever anxiety I have today regarding work, whatever the outcome is my God is so much bigger than that. That God will be with me today and always, and that I am his representative, and I am His beloved.

So whatever you are facing today remember that you are God's Beloved, a love that is bigger than anything we may encounter.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul - Ch. 7

Hi my friends, oh how I need this chapter tonight. I'm here for my weekly day late post of Yes to God, hosted by Lelia over at Write From the Heart. Stop over to see what others are sharing on this chapter. Now we are in Chapter 7, how to still and quiet our souls when anger comes into our thoughts.
The lack of control over what happens in our life, or how others act in our lives can be so frustrating. It reminds us just how little control we really have.
I love what Jennifer wrote here: "Control over the events of our lives is a pleasant day dream at best and a cruel fantasy at worst. Even so, we all seem ready to embrace the mirage." Isn't that the truth. I actually never gave much thought to my need to control things, before I surrendered control of my live to the Lord. I was not raised in a home where confrontation, or fighting was done. We were stuffers of our feelings, and anger was one of them. My mother always told me I was a born mediator, I much better at mediating other's problems and disagreements than I am at handling going head on with someone. That's how I controlled things, I'd mediate the arguments that came to me, like bargaining with someone that was mad. It's now what I do for a living as a property manager I mediate. My old manager use to tell me I was the only person she knew who could take someone who was seething mad because of something I told them they couldn't do, and by the end of the conversation they would leave smiling, happy about what they couldn't do and they thought it was their idea. Again control, well actually manipulation.
God however has shown me that I am a controller, and He stretches me alot by allowing situations that force me to only control the only aspects He has left under our control. My attitude, how I respond to circumstances, my choice to seek God, my choice to be still before Him, and my choice to acknowledge that God is in control and I'm not.
Jennifer reminds us of Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God. "It simply means we quiet ourselves by acknowledging that He is God and we are not. To do that, we must first accept that He has ultimate control and we don not. This is where ultimate peace resides."
So we need to be aware of the things that will block us from be able to be still. Those things that distract us and make us think we have control:
A Negative Mind-Set: or as Brinn and I's Tae Kwon Do teacher use to say Stickin Thinkin. We have to choose what our perspective of things will be. When something comes at me I tend to go to all the bad things that can happen first, or think of arguments to fight with before I even have had the conversation. Throwing gasoline on the fire, instead of God's soothing water as Jennifer says.
After Brinn was born, I had to make a choice about my attitude towards my ex husband. I could choose to let my anger control me and make it difficult regarding visitation, the divorce, and his soon to be new wife, or I could relinquish control to God, and let Him be my lamp. Being bitter and angry in the end would not have accomplished anything, and could have very well been disastrous to Brinn. I chose God's way I had to, but there were many times I tried to take control back, and then confess and give it back to God. Sometimes multiple times in a day.
Anger over Adversity: I love this quote from Jennifer "No one has given us an ironclad promise that life will be fair. It never has been, and it never will be. It is what it is, and it will be what it will be. Accepting that reality isn't the same as approving of your difficult circumstances. It's just being real. Your depression or rage won't make the bad things go away. Bad things really do happen to good people. Innocent people can be treated poorly. Life sometimes takes a wrong turn. Evil won't go away just because it makes you mad."
So true, don't you think. Life doesn't become a bed of roses, because you surrender it to Christ. In fact some of my greatest trials have been since I surrendered. Divorce, illness, financial loss, living through consequences you didn't completely create, and strife with people who don't believe in God's power. It's how you handle the trials and how you react to them that makes Christ evident in your life to you and others.
When Brett admitted all of his addictions, it was the most frightening feel of being out of control. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I could not make him stop taking pills, or stop looking at adult Internet sights. I could not force him into recovery, or to continue to stay sober, and I could not force him to be honest. I had no control over the situations, yet I had to deal with great consequences of his actions. Was that fair, no. So I had a choice, I could leave the marriage, society would have supported it, in fact many thought I should, or I could get on my knees and pray for God to give me strength, understanding, patience, help to forgive, and to fill my heart with love for my husband and not bitterness. Only God could change Brett, and He has. Only God could give me the strength to hang on to a marriage that trust had been dissolved and restore it to so much more than it ever was.
Stubborn Defiance: Hanging on to our anger steals your peace. You defiantly refuse to let go and the anger slowly turns to bitterness. One of things I've heard over and over is bitterness is the poison you drink yourself. It will ruin your life, relationships, and how you view yourself. It will lead you down paths you don't want to go. Stubborn Defiance is to say that God can't make a difference, that you can handle this, or I just don't want to change. It's right where the enemy wants you. "Absence of peace is not an 'I can't' situation. It's an 'I won't' problem. --- Letting go of anger may seem impossible, but my friend, it's not impossible at all. Not with an all- powerful God in your corner! Guard yourself from the belief that you can't and consider that the real problem might be that you just won't!"
This one is something I've had to work very hard on. Eph:4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. I soothe my soul with this reminding me that God has forgiven such ugliness in my life, and the sins I commit are as evil and wicked in the eyes of the Lord, as ones that I have experienced at the hands of others. So I cannot live in Stubborn Defiance and have my peace stolen from me, I have to pray and ask God to change my heart, pray for the one who hurt me, and then God restores my peace.
So tonight I started this post with how much I needed this chapter tonight. Well it's not a major deal, but this chapter really spoke to me today. My boss called me today and asked if we could have a meeting over lunch tomorrow, over some maintenance tension. What did I do I immediately starting throwing gasoline words in my thought closet. Fear, resentment, self righteousness all crept in and starting building a fire. I'm already assuming what will be said tomorrow, (you know what that makes me) and had myself all worked up by the time I got home I was really angry, not at my boss but at another coworker. So first I needed some corrective words, that may sting but are true. Like Carol you are not always right, and your defensive hackles are up over something that hasn't even been said, and may not be said. Then I need to find my Lords soothing water and put out the fire, so I can find peace. No matter what God is in control of all situations.
So I close tonight with the verse God gave me tonight that is soothing my soul, and in God's way of getting my attention He gave it to me through Brinn's memory verse this week for school.
God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1Peter 5:4
Farewell and Peace,
Oh yes if you would please pray for me and my work situation, that I would honor God in my meeting with my words, as I serve for Him as a witness to the people around me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

An Award and A Tag

What a sweet surprise, I opened a comment today from the Sherry at Midnight Scrapper, and she sent me this sweet award. She has 2 fun blogs I love to read, It's Just Me coffee & Altered to Perfection. Stop by and say hi, she loves to make new friends too. So I would like to share this award with some of my wonderful bloggy friends too.

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”
The awards go to:
Paula Sweet Pea, Tina, Christine, Laura, Stacy, Heather, Lee, Jen That was hard to just pick 8 of you. I have a long list of people who I've met in blogland that I've grown to call friends. So I would award you all, but I'll catch you all soon.
So now on with the Tag. My friend Jen she has a wonderful blog The Perfect Umbrella and Jen is one of my few friends that I know live and in person in the blog world and we go to church together. I'd love for you all to meet her, so if you get a chance stop by her blog and say hi, it'll be worth the trip.
So here is the tag, oh and ladies who I awarded above and Sherry, (except Jen because she tagged me) consider your self tagged too. So Jen shortened the items to 3 Random things about yourself just 3 not so overwhelming is it? So let's see.
1. When I was backpacking in upper Yosemite in high school I had 4 close encounters with bears in 5 days, and the last one I woke up to a bear sniffing the bottom of my sleeping bag looking for snacks.
2. I was a manicurist when I was 19 to 23 years old, even owned a beauty salon in that time. Now I don't even polish my nails, and I rarely get a manicure.
3. I'm allergic to shell fish, I don't just mean like a couple hives, or an itchy mouth we are talking tongue swelling throat closing I can't breathe allergic. Needless to say I'm very careful about eating things like dips and Chinese food. It can be a real party stopper.
Okay there you go 3 very odd random facts about me.

Friday Fill In #111

It's Friday, Yeah! Once again it's time for just for fun post, we go!

1. It seems like yesterday that I signed my daughter up for Kindergarten, and today I preregistared her for 5ht grade.

2. Unplug the charger when you're done, please? That's one of the lessons my daughter was taught today when their class presented taking care of God's world. They are raising money to save the polar bears, and teaching her school about how to be better stewards of the world God created and gave us charge over.

3. If I thought you would take care of it, I'd consider buy it! The answer to my daughter when she asked for an iPod for Christmas.

4. Blessed by God to have you as a part of my life is what I think of most when I think of you.

5. To me, Valentine's Day means less to me than when my hubby brings me flowers, or buys me my favorite candy, just because he thinking of me and loves me, than a day where he's suppose to do it.

6. God gives me strength, hope, and endless unconditional love.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing at home, and having flank steak for dinner, tomorrow my plans include my WW meeting and weigh in, lovin on my family, eating my hershey bar that Chris sent me to celebrate my 10lb goal and have no other real plans and Sunday, I want to worship at church, scrapbook, and be thankful that I have Monday off!
Hope everyone has a great and blessed weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ABC's of the Word Thursday's

So I've decided to jump in and take on the ABC's of the Word hosted by Pam at Grey Like Snuffie. I first started following along with my friend Liz at Liz's letters, and then met Pam through the Yes to God Study. I thought it was a good way to do some deeper soul searching on the verses God puts out, and a fun challenge. Since Pam is starting again with the letter A, I thought I'd join in.

So here is my "A" verse.

Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1Peter 2:11-12.

Have you ever felt that you didn't belong, or like you don't fit in? I know I feel that a lot. It's funny God has been showing me all of these different verses about how I don't belong in this world, and to not follow the ways of the world. In fact it's been almost daily for the last couple weeks. Not just through verses, but sermons at church, on the radio, and even through worship songs. I believe God is revealing these things to me, to comfort me, to know I'm not alone, to strengthen me to keep living this way, and yes that I don't belong to this world I belong to Him.
When I first answered God's call to follow Him, I noticed things changing in my world. The things I thought were okay, suddenly made me feel uncomfortable, I was seeing with new eyes. Now almost 10 years later, I really feel like an alien. Now with my husband and his new life in Christ, we both feel that way. We have many people in our lives that are not Christians, who think we are just weird because of the things we abstain from. Even some of our friends who are Christians find it hard to understand why we won't go see certain movies, or why we don't watch certain TV shows. It's something that God has placed heavily on our hearts.

In the American Heritage Dictionary the word Alien is defined as: Belonging to, characteristic of or constituting another and very different place, society, or person: stranger. Okay that makes sense I want to be seen that I live my life differently.

Then I looked up Abstain: To refrain from something by one's own choice. This told me that I have a choice to follow what pleases God or what pleases the world. I choose what pleases God.

It's not always easy, many times in a work situation, my husband and I have to hold our tongues as to things said. We sometimes can't even partake in a regular conversation, because we don't have a clue to what they are talking about, and this can be hard and sometimes tempting to crossover to the worlds ways. Through this last year with the election and the battle of Proposition 8 we heard many views from both non believers and believers. People asked us alot our opinions who and how we were voting and why we were voting that way. We prayed a lot for guidance and sought the scriptures, and cast our ballots. We prayed for guidance on how to share with people in love why we voted the way we did. I think this year especially have I felt what Peter said "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. And we feel it more and more. That's okay though we look to the Lord for our guidance, we are more concerned about pleasing the Lord than people.

We know that the Holy Spirit has guided us towards the things we need to abstain from and those things that can harm us or make us fall. We support each other in that, we teach our daughter those things. Most importantly we feel at peace with it.

We laugh because we have a really big Not of the World decal on the back window of our car. Some people who have seen it have even asked us well what world are you from, are you aliens. So I guess the correct answer is yes.

My pastor this past Sunday asked what was defining our view of Jesus. Were we looking at Him as a way to get the things we want, have we let the culture we live in define who He is and how we believe. Or are we looking to the scriptures, and what Jesus himself told us who He is. Something I've been pondering over all week.

So while I might not fit in at the company party, or people might think I'm to conservative in my thinking, or intolerant, I hope they also see that I live with Hope, and Joy. I know someday I will fit in, I'll be at home when I'm sitting at my saviors feet.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Look Up: Hope in God, My Soul Chapter 6

Can you believe we've hit Chapter 6, this study is just flying by. I'm lovin it. If you haven't gotten this book, make sure you do. It's Yes to God Tuesdays and I'm a day behind, to here what others have to say pop on over to our hostess Lelia's blog, you can link to the other ladies in our little family.

HOPE! That is what this chapter is all about. Jennifer shares with us the way an unknown Psalmist talks to his soul. "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?" Psalm 42:5 The Psalmist is talking to his soul trying to figure out what is making him feel so sorrowful. As Jennifer called it "honest soul exploration" first being honest with yourself that feel despair, and then asking your soul why. What is making you feel troubled, and searching for the source.

I have to say that this little section alone is so important. How many times have we beat up on ourselves for feeling sad, negative, fearful, or anxious. How many of us have heard that Christians aren't suppose to feel those things, that if we do we don't have enough faith. Well guess what we do and it's okay it's normal. This is when it's time though to sit down and have a good old fashion talk with your soul, and find out where the despair comes from. This is where God teaches us to look to Him to fill our souls and find our Hope. This is where God shows us that the things of the world cannot give us hope. This is when we learn to lean and trust in God. When we are in despair we must find out where it comes from so we can begin healing from it.

Jennifer says: "Despair won't go away just because we ignore it, run from it, drown it out, or deny it. A soul in despair must be honest enough to admit the truth. That's where it all begins."

When we first started this study, I shared back in Chapter 2 how I was feeling very down and frustrated, so much so that my husband was worried that I might be slipping into a depression. That day I sat down, started praying, and asking God to show me what was causing this sadness. I knew I didn't feel right in my spirit, and I didn't want to slip deeper.

I love how Jennifer has us visualize a table and the stability of it's four legs as the balance in our life. "When one of the essential areas of our lives is loose, damaged, neglected, or removed, we will be shaky and imbalanced. We will easily tip and fall into despair." Just like a table if one of the legs are broken or even loose it becomes unsteady or worse falls. Like a table we have four essential supports, ironically as I read through these I realized that I had been working on strengthening these supports, since that day I posted on Chapter 2.

Emotional Leg: "Emotions are valid and important gifts from God. But because they can be very powerful and very present, we can easily believe they represent facts. -- Our problems usually have less to do with our circumstances than with the way we choose to feel about them. --Remember, feelings aren't the same things as facts." I think we can all relate to making decisions based on our emotions. I've made many decisions that were based on my emotions, and they usually ending up a mess. These have involved financial decisions, relationship decisions, work related decisions just to name a few. This leg needs constant monitoring, I always have to stop and check my emotions, and pray for wisdom.

Physical Leg: "Never discount the impact of physical wellness on our souls' wellness. Your body needs adequate rest, healthy food, and moderate exercise." I can definitely relate to this one. My physical leg has been out of whack for the last year. Having my illness I need to be aware of my bodies needs. When I neglected them or ignored them, as I did in 2007, it brought me into a relapse in my health, which then affected every other part of my life and my families life. Only recently have I realized how much I needed to make some changes again. Things I had done but let go of. Resting when my body felt tired, not over committing to things, eating healthy, and exercising had lost as one of my priorities. Then I would become hard on myself when I had saw where it had taken me. I cannot cure my illness only God can, but he has given me the tools and the knowledge to take better care of myself. So this leg right now is under repair.

Mental Leg: "Brains like to be challenged. Your mind needs to have something to do, or it will create something to do -- something that might not be so constructive." When I think of all the time I spent watching TV. Not just something new, or interesting, but reruns of shows I'd seen 2 or 3 times talk about idle brain. Now I don't mean to offend, but I have pretty much put the majority of TV out of my life. I really haven't found anything worth watching that should suck up my precious free time to watch. I've been reading more, love reading my Message Daily Bible, books, and blogs. I have also found that blogging has given me a way to work my mind and write my thoughts and expand on them. Of course I love to create too, that really gets my brain working. So stimulate that brain, with things of value, and that bring you enjoyment. My hubby always teases me says how do you know all this stuff, I just say I don't know I read it somewhere.

Spiritual Leg: "A deep longing resides in each of us that only God can meet. Neglecting this longing doesn't make it go away. It will only continue to grow, and left untended, it leads to a sort of melancholy of the soul. -- When our spiritual needs aren't met, we experience the effects physically, emotionally, and mentally. -- Your spiritual nature is the part of you that is eternal. It's the part of you that will live forever and longs to commune with the eternal God. -- As we transfer trust from ourselves to Him, we find deep satisfaction, and our longing is fulfilled." Oh how true this is. I feel it every time I've drifted away from spending time with God, when I've slipped into the "Sunday Christian Mode". It's affected my life in huge ways. That's when I make decisions based on feelings, or slip into mind numbing entertainment, and lack of physical motivation to take care of myself. My time with God is so precious to me. I have such a hunger to read the word, and learn more about God, and what His plan is for me. I talk to God all the time like he's sitting right next to me, like I would talk to a friend sitting with me. It's apparent to me that strengthening that Spiritual Leg will keep the others from needing so much repair.


HOPE! It such a small word with such a huge impact. Jeremiah 29:11 has been my life verse since I first gave my life to the Lord it was the first verse I ever memorized, " For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future" This verse carried me through the uncertainty of being a single mom, when God brought me back to work, when I got sick, when my husband admitted his addictions, and through many other trials. God is our HOPE and He promises that to us. It may not be the future we expected, but it's what He knows is best for us, and so I HOPE in his plan for me. This verse is in big beautiful letters written on the walls of my thought closet, when I feel despair and am crying out to God I repeat this over and over like a chant, and He brings me peace.

I love the story she shared about the women's husband Bruce that is a quadriplegic. When people asked him if he couldn't wait to get to heaven so he could walk his reply was so powerful " 'I'm not so interested in getting to heaven so I can walk or run or jump,' he replies. ' I long for heaven because there I can kneel.'" Wow, have you ever met someone like that. I have, she's my daughters best friends mother, she inspires me with her hope and her faith. She has MS and is confined to a wheel chair, mostly bed now. She's in and out of the hospital for seizures, and yet when ever I go over to her house she is always smiling, she is always concerned for others, and she never complains. Now of course I don't live with her so I'm sure she has her moments, but I really don't believe that she could endure without her Hope in Christ, and her husbands hope in Christ. When I feel whinny about my illness I think of her. I call her just to chat, because she reminds me to Look Up.

Jennifer reminds us, "When we look up, we broaden our view and are able to see that our losses remind us of all that we have received. Hope is lost when we focus only on our own problems. But choosing hope widens our perspective."

Jennifer asked the question what do we put our hope in? In these times in our country people are putting their hope in all kinds of places, false religions, people, government, self help books, it's heart breaking. So many people are living in uncertainty. My friend just told me today that her husband was let go from work. Here in California, our budget still hasn't passed, and they are making cuts all over the different agencies. Of course there is all the other things going on in our country, and the world around us. I hear so much fear in peoples voices, and the majority of people seem to be putting their hope in our new President. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but let's be realistic he's just a man, so he is not where my hope lies. The presidents power is limited. If we put our hope in earthly things our hope will perish. "Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless." Job 8:13. So where do I put my hope. MY HOPE IS IN THE LORD. My Lord has no limits. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint." Isiah 40:31. I have to put my HOPE in the Lord, if I don't I will end up trembling under some broken table somewhere, not sleeping, worried about things that haven't happened yet, and things I can't control. I don't want to live that way, I don't have to either.

This quote from Jennifer's book is where I want to be, "The most hopeful people I know are those who place their trust n God. Liberated from the need to always be in control, they are able to rest in Him rather than struggle to avoid difficulties in this life. They don't become hopeless because their hope is in God, not in themselves or the alleviation of their circumstances." My hope in God has carried through many difficult trials in this last 9 1/2 years, and it fills me now even when so many around me have no hope. My prayer is that all my family and friends who don't know the Hope I have found in God, will come to find it. I would love to share it with you. It's a gift God gave us that He wants us to pass on.



Monday, February 9, 2009

Thank you Christine. I love it!

Look what I got in the mail today. Isn't it sweet. The most adorable kitchen towels, and 3 yummy Hershey Bars. One for each member of my family.

My new blog friend Christine at Wash, fold, put away, and repeat, had a drawing and I won. I was super excited.

Make sure you stop by her blog, she has a fun blog and a beautiful heart. I especially like to days post about her 3 special guests.

And just for clarification I can even eat my chocolate bar on Valentines day because it's only 5 points, so it will be my special treat, to celebrate a day of love, and my 10 lbs I lost.

Thank you Christine, you rock!

Love, Carol

Want to play a game.

My Friend Naomi over at Among the Gum Trees is playing a game. If you want to play, just let me know and I'll give you a letter! It's an easy one and you don't have to tag anybody. Here's how you play! Naomi listed 10 things that started with a certain letter. These have to be 10 things that you love! And if you can ad a picture of one of the things you love. She assigned me the letter "D". So, here goes--in no particular order:
1. Darling Husband: or my dh as I refer to him on the scrapbook forums. Watching him grow with God has been such a great privilege to see. He's such a wonderful husband and father.
2. Daughter: I love my Brinn she is the gift that God gave me that I didn't know I needed. It was the love I had for her that God used that finally opened my heart and eyes to Him.
3. Dogs: I love all shapes and sizes. I've had 9 dogs in my life, and twice there were 3 at a time.
4.Devotional Time: I love the time I get to spend with God in worship and study, and listen for His voice.
5. Days Off: Both with my family, and by myself.
6. Donuts: This is why I'm on Weight Watchers. I love Apple Fritters, Maple Bars with custard. I must not think about donuts.
7. Designing: Scrapbook pages, altering projects, journals, canvas projects, anything that has to do with art and using my hands. The more ink and paint the better.
8. Digital Camera: I love my cameras, being able to take photos and not having to wait and see if they turned out.
9. Decorating Shows on HGTV. One of the few times I watch tv, I love to watch decorating shows. I don't actually decorate my home, but if I ever do I'm full of ideas.
10. Driving by myself, with my worship music loud, so I can sing as loud as I want to the Lord, and know that He finds it beautiful.
And here is my picture of my daughter Brinn and our dog Nikita. Aren't they too cute.

Let me know if you want to play, leave me a comment, and I'll give you a letter.


Hugs from Brinn and Nakita too.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday Fill Ins on Saturday Morning

Better late than never. I almost did these early on Thursday night, but I didn't. Last night my niece Amy came over and well I never got to my putter. So join the fun at Friday Fill Ins

This week the questions are from YellowRose, so stop by her blog and say hi.

1. Please don't tell it's already February, why is time moving so fast.

2. Can you think in the morning, my brain is on auto pilot until I had my coffee?

3. The color purple makes me want to create! My scrapbook room is purple, it's such a happy place.

4. I have a craving for the bread pudding my sister makes, yummy.

5. If my life had a pause button, I'd pause it in June of 2002, and listen to God and not my flesh and had made a different decision.

6. Eyes are the first place I look when I need to see the truth in someone.

7. And as for the weekend, last night I'm made dinner for my family, heard from my Amy how her school and her community came together to help a family who's son was shot and killed (he was in her senior class and only 17) and how she used her gift to create a slide show of his photos and art for the parents to show at his memorial. The family had no money to any type of funeral or cremation, and the students and teachers were able to raise enough for them to celebrate his life, tomorrow my plans include WW weigh in going for my 10lb mark, then we 3 girls are off to see a movie, later time with Brinn and hubby and Sunday, I want to go hear more on my pastors teaching of Mark the series has really spoken to my heart, and then hang out and rest!

Now I'm off to go visit Yellow Rose, and check out some other friends on Friday Fill ins.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tune In: Awake, My Soul Chapter 5

I can't believe we are in week 5 of Yes to God's latest book study. If you get a chance to stop over to Lelia's blog this week and leave her some love and prayers, she's a special lady who leads our study, and shares her heart with transparency.
This weeks chapter in Self Talk Soul Talk, takes us into a new section, how to talk to our Souls. I love the analogy of the dirty grungy apartment stoves that Jennifer confess to obsessively cleaning. It made me laugh, in truth because as some of you may know I manage apartments, and believe me I've seen some pretty grungy, disgusting stoves, (Although at my apartments I don't let them go to a new resident that way.)I could write a whole other blog on the adventures of my apartment management, but I digress. This though was an excellent visual for me, because I've seen how hard you have to work to get some of this stuff clean and it takes work, and diligence.

In this chapter she started out talking about about David's prayer in Psalm 57:8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. How prayed in the midst of his own sin and failure. We must keep our souls awake and be aware of the distractions that the enemy uses to keep us away from our treasures, what we value most. Jennifer reminds us: "sometimes we become sleepy and apathetic toward some of our poor choices and negative attitudes. Instead of keeping our eyes open to such things, we tend to neglect careful daily cleansing, and we grow accustomed to the grimy buildup that coats the surface of our souls. And we begin to fool ourselves into believing nothing is amiss." Did this hit me it was like I looked inside and saw all those places that I'd been letting the grime build up.

Jennifer the speaks of distractions. Not all distractions are bad, in fact many of them can be good but it's the balance, and if we let our distractions consume us we loose our focus on our true treasures. What we put our effort and time on is what becomes our priorities. "Whatever your treasures is, there your heart and thought will also be" Matthew 6:21.

Over the last year and a half, God has been doing a work in me on my distractions. This was a huge problem for me, I could hardly tell the difference between distraction and treasure. God has put on my heart many things that I needed to remove from my life. This chapter is very timely for me. Immersing myself in distractions is how I hid from my problems, or how I try to control my own life.

There was a point in my life a little over two years ago, where I had myself super busy. I was taking Tae Kwon Do, with Brinn and was there at the studio probably 8 to 10 hours a week, then I was trying once again to do a direct selling business of scrapbook stuff, so when I wasn't at the studio I was trying to promote my business, I was working at my job, and then I would fit in mom and wife, and other things. I wasn't taking care of my health and getting the proper rest, I was ignoring the fact that my husband was drifting off into his world of addiction, my daughter spent hours in front of the TV, and I hadn't opened my Bible in so long that it was buried somewhere in my scrapbook room. My had the grime built up.

God though he didn't let me off the hook. Brett's addictions were exposed, and I gave up Tae Kwon Do, I had to, I was afraid to leave him alone, and I had to drive him to recovery groups for the first 5 months almost every night, and then of course I gave up the Scrapbooking business, that was a flop. More importantly I found my Bible, and my first treasure, I dug it out of the back of my thought closet, and placed it right in the front, along with my other treasures.

That's when God started showing me my distractions, and that I need to put Him first.

When I first started getting sick again in Nov of 2007, followed with a night in the hospital a year ago January for a blood transfusion, and then a major relapse in July of my AIH, God was preparing me for this next part of my closet cleaning with Him. Since that day in August of 2006 when Brett's addictions were revealed, God has lead me from one Bible Study to the next each one exactly what I needed at the time to understand who I am in Him, and now once again in His amazing timing He's showing me through this study how to put Him front and center. Jennifer reminds us how even little distractions, can cost us dearly, and that we must be alert to them. Whether they are good distractions or sinful, the enemy can use them to destroy our testimony, our family, relationships, cause us to put up walls and try to hide from God, and keep us distracted enough to keep us from turning to our Lord daily for our strength. In 1Peter 5:8 Peter reminds us "Be careful! Be alert. Watch out. Stay awake. A roaring lion is out there, and it's stalking your and seeking to destroy you." Distractions are that roaring lion we here it so many times we don't even notice it anymore, and then when we are so use to it, we forget to listen for it, it's then that it pounces on us, taking us down to a place that we never intended to go.

I like how Jennifer worte about distractions: " They occupy more prime space than we can really afford to give them. As a result, our greatest treasures may be shoved up against the back wall, all but invisible and nearly inaccessible."

So I'll share with you some of my distractions:
The Internet/Facebook and yes blogs, not bad but I can sure spend a lot of time on them.
Scrapbooking/Altered Art, I love this I could get lost in my scrapbook room for days.
Fussing over our finances.
Worrying about other peoples perceptions of me.
Worrying about my medical condition.
Worrying about my appearance.
What are my treasures:
My quiet time with the Lord
My faith
Pleasing God in being obedient
Finding God's purpose for me
My family
My friends
So that's great Carol, I know what my distractions are and what my treasures are so how do I keep my treasures front in center? Well Jennifer answered that: " By talking to your soul. What you tell your soul in those crucial moments of decision throughout your day will make all the difference. When your soul is tuned in, alert and awake, your closet will remain tidy." She also gives us questions to ask your self: "Does this allow me to value my treasure? Does this cause me to treat my treasure with less value? How does this impact my family?"
We must fill ourselves with God's words daily, memorize scripture, and pray constantly. Find scriptures that speak to your soul, scripture that takes the place of the negative thoughts you've filled your closet with. Remember the Lion is roaring all those negative thoughts, the enemy will use everything to distract you from your treasures, but by filling our minds with Soul Talk you can shut the lion out, let him roar, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds" 2Corinthians 10:4. There are power in Gods word "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
This chapter was so rich, I could keep writing, but I am going to leave you with the Psalm 57. When I read it it soothes my soul.
1Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah
God sends his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions;
I lie among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
our faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 57


Monday, February 2, 2009

For My Friend Who Is Waiting......

This weekend I watched for the second time the movie Fireproof. I love this movie for many reasons. I love that I can watch it with my daughter who's 9 and she can see in it that marriage is something that can be saved and made better when you put God at the center. I love watching the change that comes over the Caleb after he's given his heart to God. For me too the battle of the parasite of pornography is one that my husband battled, and I along with him had to learn to forgive, and learn the ways to help him in that battle. I even spoke almost word for word, Katherina's words to her mom, "when did I stop being good enough", myself to our Lord as we raged through our own battle.

But as I watched this movie on Friday night it was the song, "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller, that I loved the first time, but this time it put my dear friend Paula, better know to us in the blogshpere as Paula Sweet Pea, on my heart. This song reminded me of her this weekend as she patiently waits on God for answerer to her prayer.

I'm not sure how to embed a a video, something I could use help on if any of you want to share some advice, but here is a link to the video from the Fireproof "While I'm Waiting"

Paula, my prayer for you and your beloved continue. Love ya Girlfriend.

These are the Lyrics to.
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord