Category Archives: August 2017

STOP…& Pray why don’t you

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Crossroads — I’ve been here more times than I can count.  You know, laboring over a decision yet chatting it up with well-meaning people, some of which are strangers, I find myself just as confused and tormented as I was when I started. I feel that I’ve gone nowhere and fast.

If your heart is beating, I’m quite sure you have lived here too. Why is it that we so badly want to obtain the opinion of everyone else on the planet, except for the One who created us? I mean really, how silly is that? Or, we exhaust all of our very limited resources before surrendering to the Lord? If you are a believer, you’re aware of the goal as Christ followers: surrender. Surrender myself, my plans, my thoughts, hopes and dreams to the One who can make sense of it all and more importantly, give us His best. After all, He is not a God of chaos.

Surrender: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another; to yield to the power, control, or possession of

For most of my life, I’ve treated these such decisions I’ve described as if I’m walking a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. One wrong step and I’m suddenly doomed because I made the wrong choice, in my mind anyway. Where in the world did I subscribe to this crazy line of thinking? Enveloped in this crazy thought process of mine is a measure of fear. Fear of what God might be asking me to do. Fear that I can’t imagine how in the world little ‘ol me could possibly carry out this assignment. Fear that I might fail and expose my ignorance to the watching world. Fear of the unknown, probably trumps them all.

God is not like this at all. He is a good and loving Father who wants and desires to give His very best to those who are willing to wait on Him rather than rush ahead to their own plans and agenda. Sure, our “plans” may make total sense to us but it’s important to remember that we have a very limited view of our lives; so limited in fact that we can only see what’s in the here and now. Conversely, the Lord sees the whole picture with all the circumstances we’re unaware of. Our “best plans” fall severely short of His plans for us as Christ followers. But the kicker is, we have to be willing to wait….and pray, which is a foreign concept in the instant society we live in today. The world screams, “hurry up and grab it or you’ll miss out,” which places the focus on self, while God’s economy challenges us to be patient, to wait on Him, to trust and obey, to pray and seek His wisdom. Sometimes, the most active thing we can do is pray and, His timing is not ours.

That being said, lately, I have felt quite convicted of just what I’ve written…talking to everyone else but God yet expecting His answer. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t prayed like I should be. I haven’t surrendered my desires, my will, my plan in order to hear from Him. I have allowed fear to place me in bondage. Interestingly enough, when I pray for others in my life facing similar life decisions is “Lord, will You deafen (name of friend I’m praying for) ears to all voices but Yours. Will you enable (him or her) to be able to discern Your voice from others clamoring for (his/her) attention. Will You speak boldly into (his/her) life that there is no doubt as to which path is theirs to take.” 

Sure, God speaks to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, and even others. The point is to have a trusted few who are faithful followers in Christ, who will pray for you and point you back to Him. We cannot hear from God when we’re super busy and running hither and yon, consulting with everyone we know. Oftentimes, God’s path isn’t the most popular path and doesn’t always make sense to others. As I’ve been reminded time and again by my trusted (few) friends: God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.

My challenge to you, as well as to me, is to stop the madness. Stop the busyness. Still yourself before Him. Rather, get on your knees in humility, cry out to God surrendering the plans you have and yielding your spirit to His plans. Be still. Wait for Him. Don’t allow yourself to feel rushed to make a decision right this very minute. Sometimes, prayer can be the most active thing you can do. Press into Him through prayer, and the reading of His Word. Trust that He has it all worked out…in His timing, not ours. And don’t forget that His ways are higher and He see the full picture.

I’ll close with a friend’s recent facebook post: “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.” He is faithful! Amen!

 

 

 

 

two little tomatoes

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two little tomatoes

Summertime is our favorite time of year with all the fresh garden veggies, watermelon, blueberries, grapes,….you get the picture! My husband and I endearingly call the sweet fruits “nature’s candy” because truly they taste just like dessert! We, my hubs and I, enjoy salads tossed with grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes and sprinkled with some feta cheese. Sometimes we’ll add fresh corn, black beans and salsa to our concoction to mix things up a bit. Ooooooh! I can just taste it now, the yummy-ness!

 

Now, our not quite five-year-old doesn’t share our love for all things salad. I’ll typically offer him an alternative to the lettuce: lunch meat with veggies on the side. He detests the “uhmatoes,” as he calls them. “Mommy, are we going to have “uhmatoes” for supper tonight?” It’s always a battle at the dinner table getting him to eat the two little token tomatoes I’ve put on his plate; two grape-sized tomatoes, I might add. He squeals and moans and proclaims over and over, “I just don’t like “uhmatoes”!

 

As recent as last night, he had a couple tomatoes on his plate. I was ready for his fight; I’d been schooling him how important vegetables are to our diet. Time and again I’ve reminded him of Popeye eating his spinach, making him strong (he loves Popeye). However, no matter my efforts, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to him eating his veggies. It’s okay though, developing his palette along the way will eventually pay off, at least I hope so! At any rate, his Daddy instructed him to eat his supper, including the two tomatoes, if he wanted to go outside to play. He was also told he had to let Mommy see him actually eat the “uhmatoes” for it to count.

 

As soon as Daddy left the scene, my son gets the bright idea to let me know of his desperate need to go potty because he just couldn’t hold it another minute. Acutely aware of his shenanigans, I allowed him to go, knowing that he’d return proudly proclaiming he’d eaten the detestable vegetable. As I suspected, he dashed back to the table yelling that he’d eaten them. I quickly reminded him that I never saw this act take place. He had no time for me; he was out the door and in the backyard before I knew it.

 

Now the last time he pulled this kind of prank, my husband discovered the “celly,” more commonly called ‘celery,’ that he also has a distaste for, hiding in the bathroom trashcan. So I made my way to the bathroom where he’d just been, checked the trashcan and…. nothing. I lifted the lid to the potty and… nothing. I knew he’d hid the prized red berry somewhere but decided to put the issue to bed for the night, I had dishes to do and a kitchen to clean up. Some hours passed and a new day had dawned when I directed him to the potty first thing. What did I find? To my amazement, two little red tomatoes. Yep! He’d “hidden” them below the sink, underneath the cabinets, on the floor. Aha! I exclaimed as he moved to wash his hands. He knew he’d been found out, although there wasn’t a shred of remorse. Why was I not surprised?

 

At this point, it was time to dole out the punishment for the crime. I needed to deal appropriately with the issue of lying to us the night before when he proudly declared he’d eaten the tomatoes, but hadn’t. True confession: I had to stifle a giggle or two, when I spied those tomatoes on the floor. That little stinker, I thought! I had to muster a sad face and continue with my method of punishment. It will be a story remembered for years to come. Oh, the antics of a child!

Tips for being a great Mom…

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Tips for being a great Mom…

#10: Forget perfection. Great Moms are not perfect Moms. They’re women who are ordinary who trust God, who is extraordinary.

Great Moms don’t try to hide their mistakes or pass the blame to keep up appearances. They don’t expect their children to be perfect so that their behavior will reflect well on their own parenting skills. They still answer the door to unexpected company, even when the house isn’t spotless. They’re women who risk greatness by risking failure and who are honest with themselves and others about both their victories and their defeats. They’re women just like you, com mitted to being exactly who God created them to be.

Tips for being a great Mom…

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Tips for being a great Mom…

#9: Follow in Higher Footsteps. One way children learn is by imitating their parents. As God’s child, you have a perfect Parent, one whose love never fails and whose patience never ends. There is no better example to follow than that of your heavenly Father.

Though Jesus never had children, you can better understand God’s love for His children by reading about how Jesus loved the people God put in His care. Pick up a Bible and read the book of John . Notice how Jesus responded to interruptions, how he used everyday life as a teaching tool, how he humbly washed the disciples’ feet. Consider what aspects of Jesus’ life you can apply to your own.

Tips for being a great Mom…

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Tips for being a great Mom…

#8: Learn from your little ones. Some of the world’s best teachers aren’t even old enough to attend school themselves. You can learn many lessons from your children, lessons such as the wonder found in a common ant or the fun it is to ride a swing. Sometimes “why” can be answered only by God.

To learn from a teacher of any age, you need to be an attentive student. Watch how your children interact with the world around them. Tune into them when they talk, even if they talk a lot. Ask them questions. Give them ample opportunities to explore. Encourage them to try new things. And try new things yourself.