Glimpse of His GLORY

The sunrise was breathtaking this morning as I drove into work.  I get the pleasure of driving on quiet country roads every morning and today in particular was a wonderful reminder of the beauty in God’s creation. 

God is AMAZING

 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭

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Say it isn’t so….

God is doing things in my heart and life right now.  I’m trying to get out of my own way and let Him take over completely.  This is a daily, moment by moment struggle for me to give up control over things and let Him take them from me.

I have been deliberately reading different news articles and have even flipped over to the news radio channel on Sirius XM while driving to work the other day.  I am opening my eyes and ears and exploring what is going on in our nation and world.  I am so tempted to step back and block it all out.  I want to scream and cry at the same time.  There are so many horrific and unimaginable things going on.  My heart is broken and my spirit is sad.  HOW?  WHY?  I just don’t understand, I cannot wrap my brain around just how fallen and sinful and ugly this world and society have become.  There is so much I don’t even know where or how to begin praying for all of this.

Of all the terrible news, events and politics out there right now the one topic that digs deep into my heart is abortion.  The horrific act of cutting a child out of a mothers womb and killing it is sickening and barbaric.  I read about one woman in particular who is in her 50’s, past child bearing years and she has had one pregnancy in her life and she aborted that child.  I feel so much anger and sadness when I read this that I almost cannot even think clearly.  I feel blinded by the emotions this evokes in me.  She had this wonderful gift of life from God and she chose to kill it!?!?!  I think of the small, innocent baby who had his life taken away by the one person meant to protect him and love him unconditionally.  My own sinful instinct is to be angry towards this woman, to hate her and judge her for this awful thing she has done.  But I am wrong and am struggling with how to handle these powerful emotions I experience.

God tells us to forgive and to love one another.

I am so blinded by my own emotion I fail to see her for who she is, she is a beloved child of God just like I am.  She is a sinner as am I.  Jesus died for her sins the same as for mine.  I need to work on my own heart and learn how to reach out to someone like that in love and offer support and forgiveness and not lash out in anger and condemn them.  That is not my job, God is the only one in a position to judge and one day we will all stand before Him. Her sin is no worse than mine.  It is difficult to admit and recognize this.  The human in me wants to place a hierarchy on the sins we commit and point fingers and throw around blame.  I have to acknowledge that there is no difference in the severity, a sin is sin.  I beg His forgiveness and seek His mercy and grace everyday why should do I not turn around and extend that same forgiveness and mercy to others?  I should do this and I don’t ——>I fail God everyday.

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18

Abortion is wrong, it is evil,  it is murder of our most helpless and innocent. Recently during a counter culture study I learned that 1.6 babies are murdered every single SECOND in this country!   Those individuals who perform abortions, promote abortions and have had abortions need our love mercy and forgiveness——>they need our PRAYERS!

If we reach out to them with the love of Christ rather than lashing out in anger then maybe we can bring them to know Christ.

Let me be the light on the hill shining the love of Christ for others.

Now that my eyes are being open to the world around me I can recognize why I have sheltered myself and stayed protected in my bubble. Seeing and knowing the things that are going on in the world around me is painful and I know that I cannot stop it or fix it alone.  I feel I am powerless and helpless to the pain and suffering, feeling this way is difficult.  I admit my initial feeling is defeat but am beginning to feel EMPOWERED.  I see clearly now that I need to start on my knees.  I should not feel powerless when I have a Mighty God standing with me and for me.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31

“I can do all this through Christ who gives me STRENGTH.”Philippians 4:13

 

All we need to do is cry out to Him!

He is mighty and holy and powerful!


Father, You are so wonderful and mighty.  Thank You for all You have done and continue doing.  Thank You for Your mercy, grace and love.  Thank You for sending Your son.  In my own humanity I cannot change the evil that surrounds us.  I ask and pray for the power of the HOLY SPIRIT to fill me and work through me.  You know the compassion and conviction in my heart, recharge my spirit and body to serve You effectively.  Empower me to help and heal in whatever way You call me to do.  Lord let me bring glory to You in all that I do.  Please grant me strength, courage and wisdom.  I pray for clarity and discernment in when to speak and what words to say.  I pray for this fallen world, please God give me the audacity to shine the light of Your love to those around me.  I pray that this country works effectively and successfully to put an end to abortion, I pray to You, Father I cry out to You for all the pregnant women and unborn babies, let them live!  I pray that if there is something I can do to even save one of these precious lives that I will be led by You in my words and actions without hesitation.  ~In Jesus Name~ AMEN

Because I SAID SO!

  
When I was little and my mom said those dreaded words “because I said so”! I vowed to myself that when I was a parent that I would never use those words with my kids. Yet here I am 12 years into this parenting job and sure enough there have been those times when in the heat of the moment those words I hated so much have come flying out of my mouth to my own kids! As much as I hate that I have done this I now truly realize, understand and appreciate just why my mom used this phrase at times with me and my brothers. There is not always a reason other than I am the parent and you are my child and I know what is best for you. I am not in any way required to provide an explanation or reasoning to my children when I have instructed them, I am their mother and ultimately will determine what is in the best interest of my children whether they like it or not…..so with that being said the only reasonable way to say this is especially in the heat of the moment is none other than, “because I SAID SO!”.  
So as I sit here I cast my eyes up towards God with an open heart and reflect on a few things. Our Heavenly Father has given us very clear instructions on how we are suppose to live our lives and glorify Him. He is so wonderful and has such love for us that He cares so much that He even gives us clear reasons to following His direction.  

He tells us to love others because He first loved us.
o Romans 12:10, Ephesians 5:1-2, 1 John 4:19

Forgive each other as He has forgiven us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
o John 3:16, Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:2

Do not be afraid, be strong God is ALWAYS with you.
o Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10

Do not worry, pray and give thanks, God will always answer
o Phil 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Trust in God, He is ALWAYS faithful
o John 15:7-8, Romans 8:28

Our lives our covered by God’s promises, love, mercy and grace, He guides us and gives us direction, He is true and loving and forgiving and He is ALWAYS ALWAYS with us. We are so sinful and selfish in all that we do. Look at our fallen world, how bad things have gotten, how everything in our society is so quickly becoming evil and depraved and it is happening SO FAST! Yet He is here with us in all this, how comforting is that,

HE IS HERE WITH US IN ALL THIS! 

All we need to do is sit back and let Him love us and protect us, all we need to do is love Him and obey Him joyfully. It sounds so easily when I put the words down here, yet I fail at this every day, every hour, every minute of every day- shamefully I fail God in some way but He still loves me and will never leave me. That is awesome and humbling. 

I am guilty of not obeying God, I am like my 3 year old kicking and screaming on the floor crying out in disobedience, over and over I throw tantrums and come up with excuses and am led by my own selfish and sinful desires and heart. 

This is why I need Jesus as my savior, I am guilty, He died for my sins and yours, He gave himself freely and with unconditional love so that I can be forgiven. Thank You Lord for sending Your Son.
I will do what I can to grow and to walk closer to God, grow in my relationship with Him, become more obedient to Him not because it is what I am SUPPOSE to do but because I desire to please Him, glorify Him in how I live my life, let myself be an example of His love, mercy and grace a little more with each breath, each moment and each day. Lord please give me strength, courage and wisdom to grow closer to You, mold me into the woman, mother and wife You created me to be. 
God does not need a “because I said so”, He has so given us so much more, He has given us His Son, His word in the Bible to direct us.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ 

Matthew‬ ‭6:9-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Remembering Queen G

Last week while driving through the peaceful countryside of Mathews County I spotted a beautiful Blue Heron hanging out on the side of the road.  Everytime a bird catches my attention especially one I can identify my mind wanders and reflects treasured memories of my grandmother and grandfather.  It was during very special time with my grandparents that they taught me to identify and appreciate birds.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”  Proverbs‬ ‭31:26‬ ‭

Hazel, mom, grandma, gamla, known by many different names but she was one very remarkable and wonderful woman.  She certainly was Queen of our little family and we all loved and treasured her dearly.  Very sadly my grandmother passed away just over a month ago, I am taking a few moments to reflect, reminisce and honor this very special woman today.  There is nothing that can be said or done to make losing a loved one any easier or less painful but I do take great comfort in knowing my grandmother loved the Lord and has been called Home to be with Him in paradise and has been reunited with our beloved grandfather.  

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭

 

I would not be who I am today without my grandmother.   She lived a full, wonderful and long life, she was 91 years old when God called her home. She did experience heartbreak and tragedy in her life that no one should ever have to experience however she never let circumstances dictate or define her.    My grandfather was her highschool sweetheart and they were faithfully and happily married for over 60 years and she had to say goodbye and bury him a few years ago.   My grandmother faced challenges of fulfilling the role of working mother of 4 children, one of the first in her time to brave this the task of being a working mother.  When we lost my Uncle John a few years after we lost my grandfather she had to experience the pain of burying her youngest child.  Yet she always stood strong and was quite determined, some may even go as far as to call her stubborn. (Which my husband would tell you is something I inherited from her 😉

   
I truly am blessed for having such an amazing grandmother.  She helped me become who I am today in so many ways. I have always looked up to her and will always treasure my memories of her.  I will continue to be reminded of her and my grandfather in little parts of everyday life.  I will continue to talk about my grandparents and show and display their photos and keep their memories alive in my children as well.  

 

What an amazing testimony my grandmother left behind, the last words she spoke were to my brother before she went to sleep, she said “God has been good to me”.  She went to sleep and never woke up.  So peaceful and without suffering she left this world and into the arms of Our Heavenly Father, in her last moments she gave glory to God.  Everytime I think about how AWESOME this is I am so humbled and inspired.  

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ 

 

“Thank You Lord for blessing me with such an amazing grandmother.  I am so thankful to have had her as part of my life, blessed by her love and influence in my life.  My family and my heart are hurting as we feel the loss of this incredible woman we loved and cherished so much.  Please cover my family in healing and comfort during this time grieving. Amen.”

Weeds are evil.

  
Earlier this week I spent hours in our small vegetable garden on the side or our house pulling out weeks and weeks worth of weeds.  This is by far one of my least favorite and dreaded household chores, and explains why it had gone weeks without being properly unkept. Such a tedious task of having to hand pull each evil little weed out of the dirt away from the fragile vegetable plants we are hoping to produce food for us.  However the more weeds that grow and surround and consume the vegetables the more likely the plants are to not produce vegetables or even just give up and die.  It amazes me just how quick the weeds are to grow and flourish and begin to overtake gardens.  You would think that after having let this happen over and over, every time I attempt a vegetable garden and every year with my flower gardens I let the weeds accumulate for weeks before tackling the task of weeding.  Which is quite ridiculous and silly since if I remained proactive and pulled the weeds out as they grew in one or two at a time and kept up wth it then it would not come to the point of having to spend hours bent over in the dirt pulling out the weeds. Somehow I still don’t learn my lesson and year after year let the weeds accumulate to a much larger task and moan and complain the entire time I have to pull out the weeds and vowing to not allow them to get so bad again….. and then the cycle just starts over and I let them accumulate again……

So the other day when I was bent over in the dirt in the summer heat with spiders worms and other bugs as my audience certain verses from the bible started popping in my mind….. When Jesus talks about reaping and sowing.  I started think about our children and how we plant seeds with them all the time.  We can plant all kinds of seeds with our beloved children, seeds of faith, honesty, love, goodness and the list goes on and on, we can plants seeds in them all day long but if we don’t keep the soil healthy they don’t stand a chance to grow and produce fruit.  In my mind I can see the weeds as all the evil in this world they are exposed to day in and day out.  It’s our responsibility not only to plant seeds and water them but to keep our children from becoming overgrown with weeds.  

So I have been turning this concept over and over in my head trying to better understanding and plan for how we can actively improve on this in our home with our children and here is what I have come up with….

1) The seeds we plant with our children first and foremost needs to be faith in God and obeying God and then move on from there to loving others and being kind, ect.  However we need to be very aware that the seeds we plant can also be bad, we can be planting seeds of anger, doubt and other negative things if we are not careful.  We need to be planting the good seeds within our children.  

2) We need to keep the soil healthy and water the seeds we have planted. I feel this is so important and can be so easy to neglect this part.  We need to keep their soil healthy by being an example to our children of how they should speak act and behave.  We can not expect our children to learn to live a certain way of we as adults are not even capable of setting the example for them. Another essential way to keep their soil healthy is by the power of prayer, we need to be praying for them constantly.  Prayer is our ‘Miracle Grow’ we need to be covering them with the Holy Spirit all the time.

3) Pulling the weeds- we need to be aware of what our children are being exposed to within our home and outside of our home.  What they hear on the radio, from friends at school and church, all of this can influence them whether it’s negative or positive. We need to accept that it will be impossible to keep them away from all negative influences however we can work to limit the amount of negative influences in their lives and work to educate them on the difference in good and evil as we surround them with positive influences.
   
 
““This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:11, 15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him.”‭‭Genesis‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  ‭Galatians‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  John‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  ‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Chick-fil-A encounter that left me astounded

Last Wednesday evening my husband and I found ourselves in more of a rush than any other typical Wednesday evening. Now considering our family consists of 2 working parents,5 kids,2 dogs, 2 cats and several small animals most evenings are quite colorful and eventful however this past Wednesday really took the prize. My husband had taken our 8 year old to a late afternoon appointment at his pediatrician that ran longer than expected. I got out the office a little later than anticipated and rushed off to get the oldest 3 from the Boys and Girls Club and then a quick stop at the preschool for our youngest to get home and have about 5 minutes to let the dogs out feed them, get all of the needed supplies for church and soccer that evening and back in the bus. Our oldest needed to be at soccer across town at 6pm and the rest of our family to be at church by 6:15pm for youth activities. We rarely eat out during the week any more however with all the time restrictions it was the only option so I took 4 of the 5 kids to Chick-fil-A for a quick on the go dinner.

I walk in our local Chick-fil-A with 4 super-hungry kids and with the challenge it had been just to get them all there, add in a little bickering,talking back and whining coming from them and I am struggling in a big way. As I have to let at least 3 people order ahead of us to have enough time to get our order ready to place; I stop and think to myself “LORD, what am I doing?!?!? I am NOT EQUIPPED to be handling this!” As I continue to feel completely incapable, I continue down the negative self talk road and being super critical of myself and abilities as a mother….

We get our food sit down and finally eat. Two of the four kids go back to line with their toys in hand to trade in for their treasured ice cream dessert and I glance up from my meal and see them talking to an older man and then look over and point at me. Oh no!!! Complete dread feels me as I see him headed straight towards me, I think to myself they have done something wrong and he is coming over to tell me how bad and out of control my kids are…. I resisted the urge to turn and run and smiled at him as he approached me. NOTHING could prepare me for what was about to happen… He said he just had to come tell me what well mannered and polite children I had and that I must be doing a great job. He said my kids not only allowed him to go ahead of them in line, they used ‘yes sir and no sir’ when speaking to him and had polite conversation with him while they were in line. He was there complimenting my children and myself. I was speechless…

And that was not it….there was more! About 3 minutes later the woman who had been sitting behind us stood up to leave came over to me and she said “God must really want you to know you are doing a good job tonight because I was sitting here and watching how well mannered your kids are thinking to myself I should say something to you about it and then I saw the man come over here and knew I had to say something too.” And right there in our very own local Chick-fil-A in my moments of weakness and self doubt having the audacity to be telling God that I am not equipped He reaches out and provides me with such a humbling and encouraging response.

This sweet and gentle and undeniable message from God was so humbling and eye opening and took me to my knees. I am truly thankful for such a loving and forgiving God, that in my moment of doubt and questioning of God’s plan for me and He reaches out to remind me of His mercy, grace and love.

THANK YOU LORD!!!!!

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works of the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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Don’t worry….. Pray to God

Our Wednesday evenings at church I spend in the 3-5 year old room during Teamkid. This week had a great message for the kids and so simple and has really stuck with me….

“DON’T WORRY….PRAY TO GOD.” The children’s simplified translation of Philippians 4:6. What a great message for all of us.

When you are afraid- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are mad- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are upset- Don’t worry, pray to God!
WHen you are happy- Don’t worry, pray to God!
When you are lonely- Don’t worry, pray to God!

If we could just follow this simple command how much simpler could things be for us? To let go and trust God, He is in control, everything is according to His plan and His purpose. I know and have experienced that He knows what is best, I have learned time and time again His way is SO MUCH better than my way, so why do I spend so much time worrying about things I have no control over??? When I simply just need to follow the advice we gave our little ones this week…Don’t Worry, Pray to God.

This topic was approached from another direction in my ladies group on Tuesday evening, the chapters we study focused on fear and anxiety and goes down the road of identifying worry as a sin, which is a hard fact to ponder and realize. It is so easy to worry and let this worry, turn to fear and lead to us sinning. When we worry we are questioning God, we are not trusting Him when we do this. If we had complete trust and solid faith that He will always provide and be there for us then we wouldn’t need to even consider worrying. But we cannot do this, we are sinners and human and we need God in every area of our lives, hearts and souls. It is not possible to not worry, we are not built this way but we do need to work on obeying God’s commands to us, if we are working everyday to keep in constant communication with God, constant prayer, through every situation, always stay focused on Him and let Him be the center of everything then it will come more naturally to follow the advice and let go of worry and pray to God first and always.

Message for this week is heard loud and clear—-“DON’T WORRY—PRAY TO GOD!!!”

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

“Lord thank You for this great reminder this week, I pray for strength, guidance and wisdom to take and apply this to my life. Your words are so clear to me this morning please help me keep this sweet and simple reminder in all areas of my life. Help me to be humble before You. Daily I am faced with challenges, please help to always come to You first, I pray to live out these words and to not worry and always come to You in prayer and supplication. Let the great truth in Your words and Promises continue speaking to me and guiding me. Thank You for all You have blessed me with in this life, thank You for having Your plan be so much better than my own. In Jesus Name- Amen”

 

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