Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grandma's Fruit Roll-Up Drawer

My grandmother was amazing.  She loved me so very much.  I can remember every time I went to her house I was made to feel so special.  I was thinking the other day about how she had a drawer dedicated in her kitchen just for me.  She knew I love natural fruit roll-ups.  So she’d buy them for me and leave them in the drawer.  I know that sounds like something so small and simple, but I knew she put thought into keeping that drawer filled for me, so whenever I was at her house I had my favorite snacks.  
  People seem to forget that God is like that too.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows the things we like and he wants to bless us.   He is not some meanie-headed God that doesn’t care about us, but he loves us all individually.  He knows us. 

Luke 12:7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
 God knows us and loves us so much that he looks at us and even knows the number of hairs on our head.  That’s how much he loves us each individually.  If you will he’s got a “fruit roll-up drawer” on everyone and knows what needs to go in it.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart
            The world paints God as some distant and uncaring deity.  Or many think He’s up in heaven just waiting until we mess up so He can drop a piano on their heads….  That is so far from the truth.
 I love what Max Lucado says, “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it…He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning…Face it Friend He’s crazy about you!”
 I have noticed in life God has little ways to make me giggle and remind me that He’s there with me.  One might be hearing or seeing a dove, another way God sends me little reminders is maybe a song on the radio, or there are many others.  Many would say isn’t that just a bunch of coincidences.  Nope!  You know what else.  When I see those small things God is doing I go out of my way to thank Him for it.  When you acknowledge those little things, God will speak to you more and more in them.  When you thank Him in the small things, He’ll bring the bigger.  He loves His children so much that He wants to bless them. 
  Remember He has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Dove for the Phone, Hit my Foot On the Dresser, and Broke My Foot!

            I’m from a small town in Ohio.  I just did a Google search and it’s about 36,000 people.  When I was a kid I was known by name in the orthopedic office.  I was breaking something, twisting something, falling off something on a semi regular basis.  So much so I briefly considered a career path in sports medicine. 
            I don’t remember if I told this story yet or not, but I was just thinking about it.  One time I dove to get the phone that was on the headboard of the bed.  I was in my bedroom and my foot flung out and smashed into the dresser.  I landed with a plop on the waterbed, picked up the phone, and screamed because I knew I’d hurt myself.  As it turned out I did.  I broke the side of my foot.
            My friends had a field day with this one.  They kept joking that I’d ran for the dresser and hit my foot on the phone, or that I’d ran for the bed and hit my foot on the headboard.  I had heard so many false stories, all in good humor, by the time I got to the doctor he asked me what I did and I said, “I dove for the dresser and hit my foot on the phone.”  I knew the truth.  I knew that wasn’t the truth but I was so used to hearing the falsehood, that is what I repeated.
            People often forget how important words are on the earth.  God spoke (Genesis 1:1) and the world was formed.  Jesus said to speak to the mountain and it would be removed (Mark 11:23).  Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
            However many people know this, they aren’t speaking falsehoods out loud, BUT they are speaking them to themselves internally.  In a footnote of Proverbs 23:7 it says as a man thinks so is he. 
            Recently I have found myself wallowing in a mire of negative thinking.  I hate to admit it but it’s true.  My family is praying for a lot of different things right now, there is a lot of transition going on, and I’ve found myself focusing on the negative.  I know it’s wrong.  I know I need to catch myself from doing it.  Just a few days ago the Lord led me to watch a documentary.  It was on a completely different issue, and I confess that I wanted to turn the channel.  However later in the piece the lady started talking about positive thinking.  She said to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I accept myself unconditionally right now.”  Something in that really clicked for me.  It may sound silly to some, but I knew all this false and negative thoughts had been clouding my vision, and the question became was I going to speak the truth over the matter or am I going to hear so much false thinking that I’ll repeat the lie.
            You have to remember that no matter the frustration, circumstance, or lack of sleep God loves you and He has such awesome plans for your life.  We all go through trials, but be of good cheer.  He has overcome the world! 

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

What you think on, is a CHOICE.  Will you repeat the truth, focus on the truth, run for the truth, or will you repeat the lie?
            Remember He DOES have awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Because My Dog is Awesome!

  I walk to pick up and drop off my daughters most days to and from school.  I’ve been in the process of trying to get Mojo to walk that with me more.  He’s cute.  He’s a puppy, of course all the kids come out of the school gate and scream and shriek over a puppy that is extremely social and friendly.  It’s a common occurrence for the parents to walk their dogs here.
About a week ago this lady stops me and said, quite snarky I might add, “Everybody like’s YOUR dog.”  She was leading her adult dog, and the way she said it I could tell she was so mad at me because these kids were gathering around my dog. 
“Oh well yes.”  I tried to smile at her.  I couldn’t figure out how she could be so upset and jealous over whose dog attracted more attention.  She has then gone on to glare at me every time I see her. 
 Yes, sometimes people are really that shallow.  It’s a shocking revelation, I know.  Sometimes people will just look at you wrong and decide they don’t like you.  The problem isn’t in you.  But it’s in them.  There is a world that just needs Jesus, and will find the silliest of reasons not to like you. 

1 Corinthians 3:3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
Acting jealous just makes you look all fleshy, “human”, and a tad shallow.  I’ve started to pray for that lady.  Really I’d like to think that she’s not that shallow.  But if she is, it looks like she could use some extra prayers.  I’m not going to take her comment too seriously. 
People will act like this in life.  You have to learn to let the comments roll off of you.  You have to learn to smile at them in spite of their fleshy ways, pray for them, and love them regardless. 
 Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We Have A Cleaning System

            I am sure we are not the only person who had had problems with keeping a house clean.  What we used to do is expected everyone to do their part, but when they didn’t it would turn into huge fights.  The kids would get yelled at because their rooms were a mess.  Dan and I would turn snippy at each other because what we thought should get done wasn’t getting done, and it was all out chaos.  I get all people have to find their groove when it comes to family issues like this one, but for a long time it felt we had yet to find it.
            A month ago everything changed.  I’m not sure who suggested it.  But out of desperation we listed all the household chores and assigned them.  I hate dusting, and others in my family don’t mind it so much.   Then I made a chart and printed it out.  What had been a huge issue in our house has now become a well-orchestrated dance.  My youngest thinks its fun to look on the chart and discover what and when her jobs are to be done.  We aren’t arguing, and the work is getting done.  No one person feels like they are baring the whole weight of the issue.  I believe we will keep it up.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
          There is a real lesson to be learned here about working together as a team.  Dan and I had to hear what chores the kids would rather do, and what ones they’d rather pass on.  Dan and I had to listen to the girls, all come together, and begin to work accordingly. 
            Unity and teamwork get overlooked too often in life.  A church will get more done when they all work together as a team.   There are too many people out there trying to be one man/woman shows and wondering why they are running themselves ragged.  When the truth is simply put, we need each other to do their part of the work.
            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

There Is A Mojo At My Heels!

            We are a house with a 10 week old puppy.  Mojo is a great addition to our family, but there are some training issues we are working on.  He loves to chew on people’s toes and pant legs.  The dog is only 4 lbs.; you would think that such a threat baby teeth or not, wouldn’t be something that causes so much drama in the house.  We’re learning to correct him, and to run quickly to our destination and get our feet up so he can’t reach them.  The mere threat of his little teeth causes us to change our behaviors in the house so that we can avoid the issue. 

            I thought about all of this last night.  Our little Mojo isn’t a demon, but how many times do we do the same things for other things in our life.  We know something awaits us . . . maybe a trap set by the enemy is ahead and instead of dealing with it head on we run from it, avoid it, and it’s like we leave all authority we have puddled at our feet.  Little Mojo like those things are nothing compared to God, but yet we are deceived to think they’re so big and they get us running.  I mentioned in my last blog about Jesus giving us authority in Matthew 10:1.  In knowing we have that authority we have to remember truly how big God really is. 

            He created the heavens and the earth.  He is the alpha and omega the beginning and the end.  He knows our footsteps.  He is Holy. 

Romans 8:31 (NIV)

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

            We must remember that whatever we face in life, God has our back.  We don’t need to run away from the situation, and we don’t need to be afraid.  We have to trust Him, and use the authority He gave us.

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!




Monday, April 8, 2013

What ARE you Wrestling With?

            Dan took this picture yesterday and while suppose you can say I have a habit of turning a Bible lesson out of just about everything …I couldn’t resist this one.  How many times in life to we find ourselves wrestling with something that seems to be so big in our mind.  We don’t move, fear tries to overtake us, and we’re convinced the situation or circumstance is so huge.  It’s the whole making a mountain out of a mole hill mentality.  However in all actuality if we could really see the situation from God’s view point we’d know that that mountain is really a mole hill.  That situation isn’t as big as we might think.   That circumstance would be nothing if we just sat up and took the authority God has given us.  But instead we stay down for the count and cry because things seem so grandiose. 
            The things that we seem to make so big in our mind, really aren’t if we can see them through the eyes of God. 
Matthew 10:1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
            Jesus gave us authority over whatever may come at you.  You are an overcoming through Christ Jesus.  That thing that seems so big in your mind is really tiny in the grand scheme of things.  Cast that thing on God and see it for what it is!!!  God can turn that situation around; use your authority…and TRUST HIM!
            Remember, God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Being A Crood

            Last weekend my family and I were blessed to get to go see the new DreamWorks Movie called The Croods.  My youngest had some unused AMC Movie Theatre Tickets and it seemed like a good family film.  I have to say that this movie has to be up there with one of my favorite animated films now.  It’s amazing how God can really speak to you in times like watching a movie or when you least expect it. 

            The basic premise of the film is that the family never leaves their cave.  They are always afraid of any kind of change or anything new.  Basically they have no choice but to leave the security of what they know in order to survive.  It’s got a lot of family humor, and at one touching point the lead character Eep says, “But I’m afraid.”

            I have a confession to make.  My family and I have been in this crazy transitionary phase in our lives.  We know God is up to something and there are some shifting things happening.  While I don’t have all the pieces to what He’s doing I have really been fighting fear lately.  Not that I wouldn’t jump in with both feet if God was clear on a new direction.  (Nope, I so would because I can feel things changing) It’s just that I think the fear of the unknown has really been weighing on me.  I’m a very goal oriented individual.  It’s hard for me when I’m not sure where the next goal is.  The frustration has gotten to me a bit.  When Eep cried that out to her dad Grug, it’s like I heard something inside of me say the same thing.  “But I’m afraid.”  I always joke that if you confess you have a problem at least then you can deal with it.  Coming out of denial is the majority of the battle. 

            Many people can find their living life just like The Croods.  They are hiding in their places of safety afraid to move forward.  They are so used to the wilderness that fear keeps them from doing the things they know they must do.  It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that life is a series of changes, and you have to embrace the new in order to move forward.  If not you’ll just be sad, stale and stagnant.  In our families case where we aren’t sure what God is doing it can be easy to just get frustrated and want to stay where we’ve been.  But honestly like Joyce Meyer always says, “Sometimes you just have to do things afraid.”  Like 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind.” 

            I’m vowing that no matter what God is up to as to our next stage in life, that I’m ready to embrace the unknown.  I’m ready to hold tightly to it.  I’m open to hear the targets, and I’m open to move out of my cave into the places that God has in His hands.  Embrace change today.  Embrace what God is speaking to you.  Embrace the unknown.  When you’re walking with God you’ll see as Kim Clement says, “You’re somewhere in the future and you look much better than you look right now.” 

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, April 1, 2013

We Got Our Mojo


            When my youngest daughter was about 2 years old she was running a high fever and in her sleep began speaking.  She kept tossing and turning saying, “I want a dog.  I want a dog.”  Today about five years later, It has become a family joke.  We always intended on the possibility of getting one, but there were several reasons why we held out.  As I mentioned in my last blog, we had since decided that the time had come, but for some wacky reason we kept facing challenges and challenges about getting the right dog.

            Yesterday my family and I drove to Gainesville to meet the breeders of mini dauschunds.  We were supposed to exchange and had numerous texts back and forth, however they didn’t show up.  After everything we’d gone through Dan and I both started to panic.  It was like this must be some crazed sign that it really isn’t the right time for us to get a dog.  I was about to cry and say, “Ok, I get the point.”  Finally the owner called us.  We had a communication error, and they were on our way, but it would take another hour.  We got our little Mojo.  It just took us longer than we’d expected, we had to drive more than we planned, and patience on a dog with two kids is never easy.

            Since we’ve brought him home, both my girls have continued to say, “I can’t believe we have a dog!  All the waiting was really worth it!  I’m so excited!”   He seems to fit in perfectly with our family. 

            Isn’t destiny and life so much like this?  It always takes longer than you think.  But when it finally happens you see that it is and it was really worth it. 

Habakkuk 2:3  For still the vision awaits its appointed time;     it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.

            Perhaps equating divine destiny with getting a dog seems so very simplistic.  But in the moments I thought we’d been stood up again, I was so ready to give up and drive home.  So was Dan.  Often the hardest days we face are right before our biggest breakthroughs.  Don’t let trials make you give up.  Wait on what God has said. 

            Remember, God has awesome plans for your life.  In His appointed time it will happen.  Get Excited!