Friday’s Friends #11

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These Friday Friends posts are so fun! I do hope you are enjoying them. I was reminded this week of a wonderful blog I came across a while back. I’m not sure if she found me or I found her, but I’m just thankful we found each other! Joanna’s story is incredible, and I hope you will be just as encouraged by her blog, Dipping Into The Heart, as I was. She has so touched my heart, and I believe she will yours as well. Her story is one of truth, pain, healing and hope. My prayer is you will find all of this as you explore her blog. 😊

Live For The Eternal

As I visited with my ailing relative today, I was reminded again of how sweet heaven will be when we are all there together. There will be no more sickness and no more pain. Our loved ones will never die, and we will never worry about crises, heartaches, destruction or even the threats of such. We will say no more goodbyes, and the trivial things of this world will have all been lost. 

If I had but one piece of advice to give, it would be this: No matter what you seek in this life, all things will eventually fade away, only those things which are eternal will remain. Never allow the temporary pleasures to blind you from the eternal treasures. Live for those who matter, and let all the rest simply fade with the time of life’s journey. Recognize and acknowledge your reality. Cherish the ins of value, and make sure you are both ready for the other side; so together, you might worship your King in eternity…

Do you chatter or Do You Speak?

Have you ever met someone who just rambles on and on, and it’s hard to even get a word in edgewise? I’m not talking about when you run into your “long lost friend,” and you’re both talking so fast, excited to share what’s happened over the years. I’m not referring to those times when your spouse and you are trying to iron out some differences, and I’m not even implying those moments when your teenager is allowing the deepest soul beats to overflow for your ears to hear. 

I’m talking about the person to whom you go when you need the “latest and greatest news.” Come on, you know the one. Even when you shouldn’t listen, and even when you pretend you don’t, she has the most recent, “juiciest” word on the street, just dying to let you receive it! The string of gossip is so delicious, so “hot off the press,” she carries it to you like it’s a hot potato, and she can’t wait to release it from her flapping lips. 

If you’re a living, breathing soul, and you’re an honest one at that, we can all attest we’ve been there. We’ve been caught in that moment between wanting to hear the herald and knowing we shouldn’t give it credence. So, we are faced with a dilemma. Do we receive it, even if it is only to appear gracious and kind, not wanting to hurt her feelings? Do we say, “We really shouldn’t be talking about this,” yet, continue to allow her jaws to chatter, or do we kindly (or rudely, if needed) tell her we will not lend our ears to this gossip, no matter how close to the truth it might be? 

What do we do? What should we do?

If we are God-fearing, God-pleasing and desire to be seen as such, then we should choose the latter, no matter how hard it may be to speak, and no matter what “friendship” it may cost us. When you become a person known not only by the words you speak, but also, by the company you keep, you carry with you a reputation which speaks when you don’t have to. You become known as a person of integrity, trustworthiness and higher standards. When you close off gossip, not only from your own mouth, but also from those mouths that surround you, you close off needless chatter. 

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People are drawn to those who are of a reputable stature. They will be intrigued by your silence rather than offended by your babble or the gibberish that surrounds you. People of integrity and trust will begin to want to hear what you have to say when you choose to speak. So, choose your words and your “atmosphere of words” wisely; then, you will become known as a person who speaks and doesn’t just chatter. 

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Love Me Challenge #24

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This might seem like a little of a repeat from #19, but there’s really no way I can answer differently. My God, my husband and our boys make me happier than anything in this world! My God has become my Refuge, my Strength, my Peace, my Friend and so, so much more! My husband has become my best friend, my love, my confidante, and the list could go on and on. Our boys just bring so much joy, adventure and laughter in to our lives, I couldn’t imagine life without them!! …any of them!!

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I will have to say, another thing that makes me happy is great friends, especially lifelong or what I like to call “covenant” friends, because lifelong/covenant friends are hard to find. Covenant friendships don’t come into your life by chance nor are they birthed only from easy, fun-filled times together. Covenant friendships are birthed by choice and, often, through moments when you join arms and hearts and walk through the fires of life together. Life long friendships withstand the frivolous, the petty and even the physical miles that may grow over time. When you find one of these, hold onto them, cherish them and never let them go. Over the years, no matter the distance between you, you will be glad you did! 😉

Love Me Challenge #19

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Something I feel strongly about…

There are few things for which I will live and die, but these are a few…

My God

All He is to me, all He’s done for me, and all He has promised

He has created my world. He sustains my world. He is my world.

 

My Loves

Who they are and what they mean to me

They are my world.

 

PS. Just as a side note… too often, in today’s culture, there are too many “fighting and dying” for so many things of not much value and not much “reward.” When you choose to ‘feel strongly’ about something, and you choose to fight for it, just make sure it is truly something worth fighting for, not just the latest trend or the latest, greatest and loudest scheme of the politicians or other agenda driven group to get your attention! 😉 …There are things for which to fight, and there are things for which to sacrifice a life, just make sure you are certain those things are right! … okay, that is all. 🙂

 

 

 

Love Me Challenge #18

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This.

This feeds my brain…

Books, Books and more Books.

…and this, this is the best food for my brain and my soul…

Friday’s New Friends #3

 

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Today’s Friday’s Friend holds a very special place in my heart. She holds a special place in my heart, because she is so very brave, and she loves to the depth of her soul. She is funny, creative and sometimes even unpredictable, and I just love her! I am proud to call her my friend. ❤

Karen has a special way of just getting into your heart and staying a while. She blogged many years ago, and then, she created a new site this year with a fresh new outlook. She is such an inspiration to so many, and she has fought hard to become the beautiful soul she is today. I am so proud of the hope she has brought forth and the art she is creating. I do hope you will drop by and check out her site and maybe even purchase a piece or two of her beautiful, handcrafted creations! 🙂

Ps. For “techie newbies,” just click on one of the highlighted lines above to go to that part of her blog. 😉

Love Me Challenge #14

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Sometimes, we think we’ve overcome certain fears, and later on, we realize we have to face those fears once again. So, I’m going to share a time when I simply overcame FEAR itself…

It was the summer of 1993, when I had returned home from college. My parents had just moved to the mountains of East Tennessee a few years before, and my room was now a “studio/attic” room on the top floor of their house. I began waking up in the middle of the night with a paralyzing fear. There was a large, double window on one end of the room, the wall I was facing when I awoke each time, and it seemed as if two great big eyes were staring at me. I know, I know, for some this might sound like it is being written right out of one of those cheesy 1970s cheap horror flicks. However, I am here to tell you, I was petrified. I had always battled fear as a child and young adult, but this fear was so debilitating, so overwhelming, I would just lie there in the bed, unable to move, speak or even hardly blink.

This went on for about 2-3 weeks, and the consuming fear of falling asleep was causing me to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, only to fall asleep exhausted and awake to the paralyzing fear just an hour or two later. My mom would just tell me to pray, as I didn’t really give her much detail of what I was going through. The books I’d read would advise me on all kinds of nightly routines to combat the fears and prepare my body for sleep, and the soft instrumental music I’d play seemed to help as I drifted off to sleep but would be off by the middle of the night (remember, this is the early 90s. I didn’t own a iPhone with a playlist built in. 😉 ) It seemed nothing was helping to change this terrible cycle of sleep and fear into which I had fallen. About 3 weeks into this “rollercoaster ride,” I was talking to a former pastor’s wife and describing to her what was going on. She very gently encouraged me to read the Bible more, concentrating on verses dealing with trusting God, combating fear and standing on the promises of God. She encouraged me to memorize one Scripture, 1 Timothy 2:7…

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She, also, told me to just speak His name. I asked her, “What if I can’t speak His Name?” For, I had not been able to call out to my parents during those times or speak a word of anything. She said, “Then, you just whisper it, and if you can’t whisper it, you close your eyes and think His name in your head until you can.” Ok, now that I was armed with “weaponry,” I was miraculously healed that night from all my paralyzing fears, right?? Unfortunately, I have to say, “NO!” That night, when I was awoken once more by that debilitating fear, I started trying to quote the Scripture that I had not yet fully memorized, this all in my mind, of course. (Remember, I couldn’t speak, because the fear was so great.)

All I could remember was, “God…isn’t…fear.” Oh yeah, that’s just great! How can I battle this fear when I can’t even think of a Scripture to quote in my mind? Then I remembered my pastor’s wife, her sweet voice telling me, “Just say His name.” So, I did. I said, “Jesus” inside my head just as loud as my mind would scream it. I screamed it over and over again, and evidently, I drifted off to sleep after about 30+ repeats. This rolled on for about a week before I was able to whisper His name and the Scripture I was memorizing. After about 2 1/2 weeks, I was speaking this Scripture each time I awoke, speaking the name of Jesus, and very peacefully, drifting back to sleep.

After 6-8 weeks, from the very beginning, I no longer had these “night terrors,” as I now call them. I cannot tell you why I had such a battle, and I cannot answer the questions as to why God didn’t just instantaneously and miraculously heal me from that paralyzing fear; however, I can tell you this, I emerged from that period in my life with a stronger faith and trust in my God. I can tell you that I have not dealt with that type of ‘midnight fear’ again. I can also tell you that I have been able to use this story, over the years, to help people who have battled with a spirit of fear.

I have found that, throughout my life, sometimes, God doesn’t answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to, but if we will allow Him to and trust Him to, He will answer them exactly when and how He needs to in order to fulfill His glory in our lives.

I do hope this story will encourage someone out there who has battled or is battling fear. He is a good God, and He can help you. ❤

*This is a song set in a Christmas setting, but it is a wonderful reminder to FEAR NOT…         I hope you enjoy…

*I do not own any part of this song, these lyrics or this video. Copied straight from YouTube. Song by Travis Cotrell.

PS. Happy Valentine’s Day!! Love the one you’re with, and share your love with those around you!

Love Me Challenge #13

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Quotes are always the hardest for me to choose. There are so many worth sharing and repeating. I did a quote “challenge” last Fall; so, I guess I will tag those and let you read all three here, here and here

 

 

Love Me Challenge #12

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To share a flaw, my mind is immediately drawn to how jacked up my heart can be. My flesh is ugly. It is unruly, untempered and unkind. It takes a daily crucifixion for it to be maintained within my being. It takes a conscientious rebuking every single time this old flesh wants to rebel to keep it in check. If I allow it any leeway, it will overrule whatever and whenever it can…

So God, always guide and direct my deceptive heart. Never let me convince myself that my motives can somehow be pure and innocent. You judge my heart. You refine it. You transform it to be more like Your precious Son. ❤