How Do you Start the New Year?

Regrets or Do-Overs?

Remorse or Recommitment?

Sorrow or Joy?

It’s all in your perspective. What will you do with the past? What will you make is the future? Your choices in these few things can and will determine your tomorrow.

Choose cautiously. Choose wisely.

Kingjamesbibleonline.org

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How’s Your Time?

Every man, woman and child has the same amount hours in everyday. We are all given the exact same amount, but we surely don’t use it the same. I wonder if, at the end of our life, will there be a measuring stick (with a digital readout) that tells us just how much of our life’s efforts really amounted to something significant…

Think about it.

BUSYNESS OF LIFE: WORTH / LACK = VALUE

If there was, what would your percentage be? Would all your busyness in life amount to good stuff, quality efforts and true, needed changes and value placed into your life and the lives of others? Or would you find that the equation only equaled a pile of, what I call, “cotton candy?”

Lots of sweetness (or sickening sugar and stickiness, depending on your preference) but nothing substantial.

Think about it.

2017 is quickly coming to an end. What if just this year was measured.

What would your equation say about you?

Job 14:5, “Since his days are determined,

The number of his months is with You;

You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.”

Ecclesiastes 1:3, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven”

Embrace Your Grace

I received this wall art for Christmas, and it made me cry (For those of you who know me, yeah, I know that’s a shocker! 😂) This meant so much to me at this time, because my husband and I had just had a conversation a few weeks ago about this very thing, and I was trying to believe in my heart what my head knows to be true of this statement.

If you don’t know me (which just read a few past blogs tagged “family,” and you’ll quickly understand), you may not know that my family is my world. That old adage, “God, Family, Country?” …yeah, that just about sums me up. I love my family, and I love spending time with them. It doesn’t really matter what we do. Yet, there are times, when I feel like I need to be a better mom for them. No, honestly, I feel like I need to be “Supermom,” and as much as I counsel other moms that this is a farce, and they should never try to live up to this fantasy, sometimes, I find myself falling into the mind trap as well.

A few weeks ago, that was the problem. I was feeling overwhelmed with a “to do” list and piles of clean laundry to be fold, and a ton of other “musts” to be accomplished. I was feeling down and out, because I “didn’t have time” to fix food meals for our family, keep us on a good, healthy schedule, fix the boys’ lunches, and follow all the expectations that a “good mother” should follow. I was feeling like I don’t do enough for my little family, and I was unloading on my husband. He listened…and listened…cuz, he’s such a good man.😉

We got through the junk, and we talked about improvements that were actually needed, and then he put his arms around me and just hugged me. He said, “I love you. You’re a great mom to our boys, and I wouldn’t want any other woman as my wife.” Then, he gave me this piece for Christmas. … you see now the reason for all the tears? (Yeah, I told you he was great!) 😉

I told you this story to tell you this: if you’re a mom, and you’re struggling today with feeling overwhelmed, insignificant, less than, lonely, etc., there is hope. Don’t allow the “Pinterest Moms” and “Facebook Supermoms of this world to big you down with expectations and burdens that you were never meant to carry. Recognize that God wouldn’t have put you in the family you’re in and wouldn’t have made you the mom of the kids you have if He wasn’t going to equip you and help you to be who He’s called you to be!

Will you need to re-evaluate your priorities, agendas and goals from time to time? Yes. Do you need to make sure you’re keeping “the main thing the main thing?” Yes. Will you need to step back from failures and mistakes, forgive yourself, ask for forgiveness from others and start anew? Yes. And will there be needed improvements needed along the way? Oh. My. Goodness. YES AND AMEN!! However, if you’re never doing these things, you’ll never grow, and your family will never be challenged to be more. A beautiful garden never becomes truly beautiful unless it has a season of pruning.

Just remember, you have to find your on niche here in this world of “motherhood.” You have to do what’s truly best for you, your husband (if married), and your children. What works amazing for one family might just being down disaster in another. What would never work for your family might work perfectly for mine. None of us are clones, and God never intended us to be! Can we learn from each other? Yes. However, every family must seek God to find what is His best and become just that!!

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Choose Well

I saw this post the other day, and I thought, “This describes exactly how I’m feeling and what I needed to hear today!” It was Christmas Eve morning. I had 2 church services to attend, songs to sing while on praise team, a devotion to share during offering, Christmas gifts to deliver, people to greet and names to remember, smiles to give and necks to hug. All that before 11:30 in the morning, and I’m not exactly a morning person… Really, it was no different than any other Sunday (except the gifts), and I really do love what I do; yet, that morning, I was feeling frazzled, stressed out and insecure.

Honestly, I had stayed up too late the night before, and I was feeling weary. I had been excited about Christmas coming, and I had gotten everything done about 11:00pm; yet, I just kind of piddled until I got sleepy, an hour after midnight, which doesn’t fare too well when you rise at 6:00am on Sunday!

I was, also, going through a bit of an emotional battle, feeling unworthy, insignificant and internally “bluesy.” All of this was adding up to make the day a very sour lemon! Then, I came across this pic that I had just saved the night before, thinking I might use it for a blog one day, (lol!) and it was as if everything came full circle right a that moment. I was reminded of my philosophy for living: Life is what you make it. It’s all in your perspective and the choices you make.

I didn’t need to let my circumstances rule my emotions. I didn’t need to allow my feelings to be my guide, and I could not permit my choice of lack of sleep and struggling thought patterns to dictate how I would worship my God, engage with people, and follow through with the commitments I had made.

I had a choice to make, and I decided to choose well. I chose to breathe it all in. I chose to slow down, be deliberate and be aware. I chose to have joy, to rejoice in our Savior, and to be thankful in my heart and my head. I chose to savor life and those around me. I chose to smile and allow the wonder and happiness of the moments to not only fill my smile but to fill my soul and my whole being.

It was Christmas Eve, and this one only comes once. More importantly, it was Sunday, and we live in a free country where we can still worship as a congregation. We serve a great God who is worthy of all our praise! I wasn’t going to miss that! It was, also, the day I get to see a lot of people who may or may not be there tomorrow, because after all, none of us are guaranteed the next breathe, and in this crazy world, you never know what might happen!

It was an amazing day, and I am so thankful I made the right choices. 😊

We all have choices to make everyday, every hour, and even minute to minute. What will you choose today?

If You Are Over 30…

Ok, so, I’m going to kind of make a funny here with some hyperboles and be a little exaggerate simply to make a point…

ONCE YOU’RE OVER THE AGE OF 30, THERE’S SOME THINGS YOU JUST NEED TO LET GO OF, BECAUSE YOU’RE LOOKING KIND OF GOOFY AND REALLY MAKING YOURSELF OUT TO BE A FOOL. 😳😑

This though has probably been triggered, because I’ve come across a few of these lately, and I’ve been reminded what “immaturity in an old shell” really looks like. I guess, you could just call me old fashioned, or maybe you’ll charge me with too much conservatism. If so, that’s ok, but really, if you are guilty of the following and don’t think you need a little change, you might just want to step back and see yourself through the eyes of the older and younger generations.

If you’re over the age of 30, please stop:

1. Cussing out the cashier or waiter, because he or she didn’t do something correctly while ringing up your bill.

Are you telling me you’ve never made a mistake, especially after a long day at work?

2. Making a scene in public because your momma hurt your feelings, the teacher disciplined your child or someone just cut in line in front of you.

Really? Show some respect for yourself and other people. Take up the confrontation with whom it needs to be settled.

3. Miniskirts and midriffs.

The company you’re trying to attract will be on the prowl, regardless of your attire, and the company you need to be attracting won’t be interested in all that.

4. Various brands or quotations on your rear end.

Umm, no. Just simply don’t.

4. Selfies taken in front of the mirror of your bathroom.

You’re not 15, and this isn’t the glamour shots of the 80s. Somethings just need to stay in the past.

5. Partying all night and all day, especially when you have children who need care.

You’re a momma or a daddy now. Act like it. Their lives may depend on it.

6. Living at home with mom and dad.

You outgrew that baby bed for a reason. It might be tough, but you can do this thing called life.

7. Gaming all night and skipping out on your job.

The old proverb is true, “A man who won’t work won’t eat.” This culture’s society will try to convince you otherwise with the welfare and entitlement mentalities, but do not be deceived. We all need to work if we desire to eat.

8. Making out in the grocery store parking lot when you should just go get a room.

This was all fun and games in high school, but when you’re older, it just seems you’ve got way too much to prove or maybe you’re cheating on your spouse.

9. Skipping out on your family, because you just “wanna have fun” or “sow your wild oats.”

So much could be said here, but I’ll just keep it to two words: GROW UP! Yes, I did shout that, in case, you didn’t hear me.

10. Stealing, thievery, lying or cheating.

This is not okay at any age, but when you have crossed this threshold of life, you seriously look like a loser. Get a life. Get a job, and be a man not a parasite.

Yeah, maybe I am just “old school.” Maybe I am just a little bit of a “fuddy dud.” If that’s what I am, simply, because I choose to make solid choices for my life and my family, well, that’s okay with me. Call me what you will.

I’ll just settle to being a little traditional, a bit old fashioned and conservative, or maybe, I’m just secure in my decision to grow up, live life with determination and purpose, and move beyond those selfish motives and actions of my more youthful days.

Right Perspective

It’s all about perspective…

Saying goodbye to your love for a few days or saying goodbye to your husband for a three-year deployment…

Waiting an extra month for the house to be built or rebuilding after total storm devastation…

Trying to forget a petty wrong or trying to forgive decades of abuse and neglect…

Wrangling a passel of kids and feeling exhausted or working the night shift hoping to make it in to see your baby before she leaves for the day…

Worrying about your kiddos passing grade on the next exam or struggling to believe your teen will make it home safely from the inner city hood tonight…

Genuinely missing your best friend who flew over seas or walking the journey of grief for the very first time…

Having overwhelming leg pain that results in bed rest for a day or rolling a lifetime of hours with a wheelchair and cane….

Doctor reports that alter a lifestyle of living or walking the halls of the ICU hoping the life support brings restored vitals and vitality…

We all think it’s so easy, or we all think it’s too hard, until we walk a moment in their shoes…

It’s all about perspective.

*I do not own or possess either of these photos. They came from a simple Google search on perspective. Just thought they emphasized the point.*

Looking for that Moment

I wouldn’t say I’m not a really bold person. Too often, I wish I were more bold, but my prayer lately has been for God to help me to see. “Open my eyes and let me see what and who You want me to see, and if you want me to speak, please, give me the courage, and I’ll speak. ” That’s been my prayer.

A few days ago, my husband and I walked onto a used car lot in town, met one of the salesmen, and he ended up sharing his story with us. He’s a retired South African pastor, living now in Georgia, and his wife is battling cancer for the second time. They’ve been married for 40 years, and he hopes and believes for 40 more; yet, when circumstances arise like this, it naturally brings doubts and fears. We stood right there in the parking lot and prayed for his wife’s healing.

Today, a lady showed up in our church foyer lost in her way to Florida. Mind you, our church is not just a step off the interstate; yet, her GPS had brought her down this street, and she stopped in for directions. She was on her way home to take care of her house before the possibility of Hurricane Irma sweeps in. I gave her directions and asked her if I could pray for her before she left. She said yes. We prayed; she cried, thanked me and went on her way. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I haven’t been able to get her off my mind all day. I pray she makes it home safely and that her home stays safe through the storm.

You never know who God will bring your way or why. The most important thing is to keep your eyes and hears open, ready and waiting for when He says, “Speak. Move. Tell them about Me.”

This is an older song, but it really puts “teeth” to what I’m trying to convey here. 😉 Hope you enjoy.

https://g.co/kgs/ubCQ8H

*This is a YouTube video. I do not have access to, nor do I own, this video.*

Storm Wisdom

Found this quote today, and I thought I'd share it. With the storms that have brewed and blown through in the states southwest of us, this just seemed appropriately placed. I hope you will be encouraged…

Knowing what to do when the storms of life blow in is essential to our survival. The storms are inevitable, and if you simply remain unprepared, believing they will never affect you, you will find yourself sadly disappointed and, possibly, even drowning in the floodwaters of the aftermath.

Lessons for the storm…
Sometimes, when the winds blow in and the rains threaten to overpower us, we have to simply adjust our sails and head a different way. Other times, heading straight into the storm will give us enough gust through the sails to carry us beyond the storm before it bellows in force. Sometimes, we may need to lower the sails, batten down the hatches and make a "bee line" for the shore. However, there are those few, rare occasions, we will even need to hold on tight and wait out the storm, because the safety of land is just too far to reach, and the storm has a lot of bravado but no real depth or harm. It blows in with a furry yet stops just short of any real threat.

If we are to survive through life's storms, we must develop the art of perseverance and a deep gratitude for the vessel in which we sail. When we have these two attributes as the foundation upon which we stand, we can face any storm that may come, because gratitude will always bring you to the wisdom of who you are and who you are not, and it will give you the ability to ask for help from the right people at the right time. Perseverance will give you the ability to withstand the battering of the winds and waves while still learning the skill it takes to get the boat to where it needs to be when it needs to get there.

Lastly, we need to know the Master of the winds and the waves. With Him by our side, we will not drown, no matter the depth of the sea, the force of the wind or the terror of the rains. He will guide us. He will comfort us, and He will protect us. He may not always remove us from the storm, but His hand will always be with us through the storm.

…I hope you might take some time to share with me your own perspective on this quote…

What Do You See?

Recently, I had lunch at the Swan Coach House in Buckhead, Georgia. If you want to see the Old  Southern Belle style of Old Atlanta, this is your place! It is rich in history and character. 

Behind this restaurant is the original Swan House (mansion) steeped  in even more history and character.  It was amazing to see the richness of decor, even to the detailed carvings above the door frames entering the library study. It seems this family spared no expense, lavishing the halls with beautiful furnishings of the time and even building out the master closet wth marble and huge vanities and closets. The gardens, lush and magnificent, capturing the attention of Hollywood with the filming of The Mocking Jay and various weddings of the area. It was simply breathtaking. 


Yet, as we traveled up the four flights of stairs to the very top floor of the house, we entered two rooms which were very plain and practical with no decorations or fanfare. It became apparent this was the former slave quarter and the ironing/folding/cleaning room. The slave’s room was said to be very close to what the actual room had been like. There was a bed with a simple quilt, a dresser with a few essentials, including a handwritten note on “How to prepare a perfect evening (bed) turndown,”  a little side table with a fan, and a rocking chair by the window. 


In comparison to the rest of the mansion, this room was so unattractive, it shouldn’t have made much, if any, impact. However, as I walked over to the gigantic, porthole-like window, I was struck in awe of the beautiful view. It looked out over the magnificent gardens below, and I began to imagine what it might be like to live as the slave within this home. 


The work would probably be unimaginably difficult, taking care of all the household chores, caring for the children (the children’s room was just down the hall), taking those four flights of stairs everyday to go to and from the various duties throughout the home. Oh, but that view kept drawing me in. It was simply breathtaking. 

I could imagine sitting by the window at night, gazing up at the full moon that might shine through. I thought of the early rising sun, chasing away the dark of night, the dew glistening in the gardens below. The work of the day ahead shadowed just a bit by the beauty which greets you in the morning light. 

In this life, we will have trials. We will have tough times, hard work and difficult obstacles which will threaten to overwhelm us. Yet, we must push through to survive. We must set our sights on the important things, and our perspective must be in the right place to not only survive but to thrive

What do you see before you? Do you see pain? Do you see difficulties and turmoil? Do you see brokenness and despair?

Or do you see an opening to life, a porthole of hope, a window of beauty that will sustain you through the storm?

Looking For A Sign

Read this Scripture today, and even though, I’ve read it before, it seemed to come alive to me once more. “Lord, You are my portion and my cup…” He not only is what fills me, but He is the vessel which holds the filling, the portion. He is truly all we need! 

Our pastor’s sermon this morning was titled, “Surrounded by Miracles While Still Asking for a Sign.” He talked about how everything around us is a miracle. We live on this little blue marble, which circles this great big ball of fire, while a sphere of rock illuminated by that ball of fire controls and maintains our ocean tides, all hurling through space, while all surrounded by rock and death and other masses of fire. This tiny blue marble has the perfect conditions for life and oxygen, wind and rain. All the while, we have this heart beating within our chest over which we have absolutely no control, and we still sit here demanding God for a sign. We keep saying, “God, I don’t see any miracles today. I don’t see Your hand moving as it once did. I can’t see any miraculous acts declaring Your glory and power.” 

How blind are we? How wicked is our wayward heart? There are miracles all around us, we just fail to see them. Our eyes are not given to us to see. Our eyes are given to us to look through. We must allow Him to give us the right perspective. We must allow Him to cause our eyes to see. 

2 Kings 6:17, shows us how the Lord does this. Elisha was surrounded by the army of Arameans who were commanded by the king to kill him. Elisha’s servant saw this army and was afraid while Elisha didn’t fear. He knew God was on his side and would win the battle. Elisha prayed this prayer for his servant, ““Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) That’s a pretty big difference in just a moment of time. God gave him a new perspective. 

Sometimes, we must have a new perspective to see clearly. There are times in our lives when God isn’t going to answer the prayers we pray the way we believe they should be answered. There are going to be moments when things don’t make sense, and we wonder where God is and if He has forsaken us. There will be other days when we get into the mode of comparing our lives with someone else’s and wondering why God is blessing them so much, and we just seem to get the skimpy leftovers of life. 

That is when we need to remember this scripture in Psalm 16. This is when we must remember the story of Elisha and his servant. This are the very moments when we must ask God to give us the right perspective that we might see His miracle right here within our own chest.  

I pray He’d give you eyes that you might see. 💗

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