Thursday, October 29, 2009

All in a Trip to the Wal Mart...

What a day! Now that Gracie and I have gotten back into the routine of our usual morning stuff...I'm ready for a break! If I think back, we had a grand total of 10 days off from our routine (including the 5 days she missed when she had the flu). After an entire week of run, run, run, run, run, I'm ready for the weekend! Today was no different. School, work, lunch, post office, school, homework and PTO stuff at school ( I spend enough time at think??). So when I get home, I hope to find supper ready, right? Wrong. Me and the hubby got our signals crossed. Of course I'm sure I said something the wrong way when I came in (should I have asked about his day first? probably....) so then of course I KNOW he said something the wrong way and it's ON! Not how I planned my evening to go, unfortunately.

So I order pizza, stick the kid in the shower and write a note to said, and I quote, "Gone to Wal Mart, be back next Tuesday...". And I left. I needed perspective. So Wal Mart it is. It doesn't take long to get some perspective there! Between the less than smart drivers between here and there and the interesting crowd that Wal Mart draws at 7:30 on a Thursday evening, my perspective was quite sharpened. It doesn't take but a minute or two in Wal Mart to remember the great life you have waiting on you at home! I'm pretty sure while I'm there I witness a couple of those people that show up on the website (check it out if you've never...hours of entertainment!).

So two books and 15 minutes in line later, I'm heading out to the car. Perspective. doesn't take much exposure to God's creations to get "perspective". I can look at the good, the bad and the ugly and know that He is the Creator God and He is in control. I see the good and know that it was all formed at His hand. I see the bad and know that it's for a reason, to somehow, in a twisted, round a bout road get righted and made good. I see the ugly and laugh, knowing God has a sense of humor, haha!

So on the way home, I opted to focus on the brilliant stars scattered across the sky, skillfully and purposefully placed by the same Maker that made me. I ignored the skillful drivers all around and centered on humbling myself, knowing that God placed me then and there, for perspective. Perspective on Him, which in turn gave me the perspective I needed to return home and be the mom and wife He intended for me to be. All in a trip to the Wal Mart...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Talk With God Today...

God give me the passion for Your children's souls...give me a yearning to turn their hearts to You. Help me to find those gaps to stand in, open doors for my faith to stand out. Give me the courage to stand in the gap for others. Let me be a light that shines for You, inside and out. May Your presence in my heart and soul shine through my life. When those doors open, please don't oil the hinges, may they squeak and groan when they open so I may see this opportunity is from You. Give me passion but give me the words as well. Allow Your Holy Spirit to speak through my lips that so when the words leave my mouth others will hear all of You, and none of me. May my actions be a witness to others, may I live my life so that others will know You take up residence in my soul, NO! not only take up residence but that You are my soul. God I pray you will consume my thoughts, my heart and my life. Show me Your will and give me the wisdom and discernment that I need to make the decisions I need to make. I praise Your name, You are Holy, Good, Perfect, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. You are the Beginning and the End, the Creator of all things. One day, I will fall on my face at Your feet, for no other reason but to finally honor You in Your physical presence. May my life be a continual worship, may my prayers be fervent, persistent, selfless and effectual. God grant me Your grace, Your mercy and Your perfect love. Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do you ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? I mean, from the time you roll out of the bed until the day is done, NOTHING goes right? I had one last week. It was one of those days that you wake up and think your clock says one thing, but it really says get a late start and it rolls from there, you know?

Then the kiddo is hard to wakey wakey, nothing can go right at work, I mean, technology work on a NOTHING GOES RIGHT day? Come on! It's like this gravitational pull is forcing the computer, copier, phone, fax and paper folder to work poorly. Not to mention already being behind on work due to the sick kid at home all week.

So at this point, my jolly, positive, oh, just one of THOSE kind of days attitude is beginning to dissolve. Then the phone calls start coming in. Plans need to change? Okay, let me work around YOUR schedule. Not coming til tomorrow, okay, no worries, I'll accomodate YOU! You can't get me the info I needed yesterday until tomorrow, no problem, I'll adjust my needs, my family's needs, etc, so you aren't put out. Yes, I am the all around, let me help you person. Normally, this does not bother me. It's part of my Christian walk, part of my worship. But that one just really started getting to me. Everything started snowballing and the tears were not far away.

But just like normal...God sent the right person at the right time. The phone rings and one of my favorite Christian mentors is on the other end. So do I pump her up like she always does me or do I begin my rant. I begin my rant. Sorry, I know we were all hoping for the positive. After a few minutes of tearful woe is me crap, she says one simple sentence, "Honey, don't let Satan steal your joy, don't let him win this one." And just like that, it was over. Did the let downs and problems keep happening. Yep, but I knew where it was coming from and I knew, I felt in my heart my Holy Spirit telling me, it's okay, I've got your back. See, I worship Someone far greater than anything Satan can throw at me. I serve a Savior that created the world and all that is in it, I serve a Savior that rose from the dead for crying out loud. Satan can't even begin to compete.

So did my day get better. Yeah, actually, it did. After a long, hard, trying week, a day like that wasn't what I needed. But God knew what I needed. A reminder that He is bigger than all things and when I stay focused on Him, it'll all fall into place!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Okay, okay, I've been very slack on my blogging. I could chalk it up to the kiddo having swine flu for the last week, but technically I actually have had a little more time on my hands this week. We've had a lot going on in our lives and I don't even know where to start. We definitely have decisions we have to make in the not too distant future and sometimes I get consumed with that idea and can't focus on anything else, know what I mean?

First of all...I have convinced myself that I have Fibromyalgia. Anyone out there feeling me? I have so many of the classic symptoms, that cannot be explained any other way. So a lot of the time, I am just flat out achy and tired. Do I go see a doc about it?? Of course not! I am a woman, I can fix all things, my cape is flowing in the wind...but I will soon (see the doctor I mean, not exert my woman powers). So that is issue #1!

Secondly...God is dealing with me and my family, in more ways than one. He is taking us places in our walks that we never saw coming and attempting to understand and discern His will is taking more of our efforts than we would have ever thought possible. Trying to stay in continual prayer and constant worship to know Him and His will more has not only brought us closer to one another and closer to Him, but it's helped us understand what making our life our worship really means. It's awesome in many ways, but it's also hard, because we are coming to difficult conclusions...more info coming at a later date. Nothing drastic, life altering or devastating, just difficult for us. We are so super excited at the possibilities that God has laid before us, and we cannot wait to see where He takes us next! Having complete faith in Him and knowing that He is 100% in control is all we need.

Thirdly...can I just say, Satan has picked on me all week?!? I can deal with swine flu...I hate seeing my baby sick, but as a nurse, it's no real stress on me. Nothing I had planned went my way this week. Nothing horrible happened, but when the chips are down, it's hard when the unforseen happens, the best kept plans go awry, and birthdays get messed up. When it seems like nothing is going right, no one is on my side and I am ready to throw my hands up in the air and wave my little white flag...God always reminds me that it's not from Him, it's from the one against me. From the one that opposes me and wants to see me's from the one that works overtime to make sure he can kink up my life as much as possible. Then I can take hope. I know that when Satan opposes, I have One on my side that works that much harder to make it all right again. I know that when Satan attacks, and I stay faithful to my God, He desires to bless me that much more. When bad things come my way, it's almost like I can get excited knowing that something great is right around the corner. Not that I desire bad things, or wish for them, but I know God wants nothing more than to see me faithful and to bless me for it when those bad times hit.

Life gets complicated and messy. But my one true constant is my glorious, perfect, beautiful Maker. He is all I need, all I desire, He is everything. Regardless of physical afflictions, regardless of nasty unforseen illnesses, regardless of the attacks the evil one sends my way, God is unmoving, unwavering and never ending. He is my all in all!

Monday, October 12, 2009

When Heaven and Earth Collide

It's been almost 9 years ago since my little slice of Heaven on Earth was born. After a year of fertility problems we finally got our chance at pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing. It seemed like a long road, between the fertility issues, pregnancy problems and premature birth (not to mention the nausea, indigestion 25 lb weight gain and we won't even go into the stretch marks!!). But looking back, it was a small dot on our map of life. I'll never forget the first time I saw my little girl, the first time I held her, smelled her, touched her delicate translucent skin. Honestly, time stood still in that moment. If I had ever had a doubt that God existed, those first moments of mommyhood washed them away. I had never seen a more beautiful creature. I had never been more overwhelmed by for my precious, extraordinarily beautiful baby girl and by the love of my God, who gave her to me. We, like many new parents, struggled with name for our little girl for weeks before her birth. But the moment I saw her I knew her name. Elisabeth Grace...because God had shown us this umerited favor in the gift of her life.

I had never and have never since known a more overwhelming feeling in those first mommy days. A feeling of utter helplessness, a feeling of "oh my dear Lord, she is totally dependant on me and I have to do this for 18 years", a feeling of pride for what God had allowed my body to do and a feeling of joy in knowing this blessing was mine all mine. I wondered what my parents felt when I was born. I wondered a lot in those first days and weeks...

In the nine years since then, we have struggled with infertility. For six and a half of those nine, we wanted another baby in our lives, but it didn't happen. It most likely never will. I know I am blessed to have the child that I have, I am blessed to have had the pregnancy and birth experience I had, regardless of the difficulty or pain. God blesses me in one way or another every day...but I always feel like there is something missing. Don't get me wrong, I am whole and complete in's taken me a long, winding road of bumps and potholes to figure that one out. I am confident in Him. I know others have experienced much worse fertility issues than me...but sometimes, when I see a new baby, it's painful to know I won't have that experience again. But I'm healing from that...and with God I will be healed entirely of that pain.

That day, nine years ago when Heaven and Earth collided in my world, God sent a piece of His love to me. He sent me a piece of Him in my baby girl. She was made in His image, as was I. She proclaims the love of Christ and has long ago accepted Him as her Savior and now His Holy Spirit dwells within her. How incredibly blessed I am to be her mom. How incredibly blessed I am. I plan to move forward with no more regrets of what I should have done. I will raise her in the sight of God at the foot of the cross. I will love her endlessly and hug her every chance I get. I will tell her every day how beautiful she is and what a precious child of her Maker she is. I will not regret another moment. A dear friend told me not too long ago she lives by a motto "Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. And leave the rest to God." I like that :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yes, I Said That About Joel Osteen...

I was very politely reminded Friday night (by my beautiful sister-in-law) that I had not blogged all week. Sigh. I've been talking to God a lot this week, but He's been pretty quiet, and I hate to blog if it's not from Him....sooooo....Anywho, God and I have been talking a lot today, so here I am. I hate serious issues, cause I am not a serious person. It just seems like the serious stuff is what is dominating my mind these days. I am finding out more and more that Christ followers are not at all what they claim to be these days. Yep, there are quite a few out there that are true followers that know their theology, they know their own beliefs AND WHY THEY BELIEVE them...but more often than not, people just don't know. To look at them, even to have brief conversation with them, all appears well. But that's just scratching the surface. It's easy to watch the Joel Osteen's and other tv personalities and know that they just aren't hitting hard on the gospel...not hard at all (if you like Joel Osteen, well, sorry, he's flat out a spiritual pansy, not opinon, just based on hard Biblical fact, cause he don't know his - don't get me wrong, I will never judge another man's heart, but I know what I've seen/heard). But to be with people week in and week out and see the facade they so beautifully display to only then start up a real spiritually meaty conversation and find out that they don't have the first clue, well, it's hard. It's a hard a pill to swallow. Come to find out, that's becoming a scary norm. I've figured it out. There are a lot of churches growing and growing and growing out there, because they don't teach the hard stuff. People pile in on Sundays, shoulder to shoulder, to have their ears tickled and teased with -not false teachings, because they often DO come from the Bible-but nothing that challenges them, nothing that makes them say, who, me? Do I do that? Do I need to change that? Am I really a Christ follower??? I mean really...a lot of churches aren't even preaching salvation. It's all about living the Christian life - well, can't live that Christian life without having a personal relationship with Christ.

I know I've blogged about this before, but it's on my heart and mind. Are we losing our edge for winning souls? Are we losing our passion, or did we ever have it? I had a friend tell me that he had never really had that urgency for winning does that happen? I'm all about growing in Christ, but without the foundation, no building can be done. We don't want to hurt people's feelings...I'm over it. I can't tell people they are going to Hell without offending at least one of them! I love my God and I love my relationship with Him. He's taken me to a level of living it all entirely for Him. Not for my comfort...not for other's comfort...for Him. Loving Him by loving others...and that means winning their souls for Him. I know we have to love people to get into their hearts and introduce Christ...and that's my goal :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

You Graduated WHEN???

We went to the big town of Edenton, North Carolina this past weekend. My hubby and I attended his 20th High School reunion...yepper, 20, TWO-ZERO, TWEN-TY years. For the record, I am NOWHERE near my 20 year mark....ha! Edenton is the epitomy of small town USA. It was founded in 1658...and has progressed a LITTLE bit since then. They have a Roses now. And peanuts. Other than that it's a small, historical, sleepy little town nestled in a crook of the Albemarle Sound...and I love it. I've often thought, wow, what a great place to raise a family, to live in and retire in. The same folks that live there now will be the same folks that are living there and dying there in another 50 years, not much turnover quite frankly!

But back to the real reason I'm blogging tonight...the reunion. It's funny...the few folks I've polled in the last week or two all say the same thing..."My 10 year reunion was in a bar type setting..everyone was still into drinking and having a good 20 year reunion was at the country club so everyone could brag about what they had done with their lives so 30th was at a dinner club, so everyone could get reacquainted and talk about their kids..." you see how the priorties progressed?? My hubby's reunion was none of the bragging see, the vast majority of folks still lived around there, knew what each other did for a living - be it good, bad or ugly - and no one CARED!! It was great...everyone just wanted to get reacquainted and see what the other folks had been doing for the last 20 years. No scoreboard, no bragging rights.

So on the four hour ride home, I had some time to think...I've been a Born Again Believer for 20 years now...October 15, 1989 is the day I was reborn. I wonder, if I sat down with God and talked and looked back over the last twenty years, what I would have to be proud of for Him. What have I done with my Christian life? Have I utilized every opportunity I've had to witness to others? Have I won as many non believers to Christ as I could have? Have I been the Christian sister to others that I should have been? I can honestly say those first few years (I was 11 when I started my walk with Christ), I did not have my mind fully wrapped around His desire and will for me (heck, does that ever fully happen??). But I did try to be set apart and not "try" and "do" all the things kids my age did. I wanted to be a good witness...I had some great youth leaders that encouraged me in that respect. I wonder...I just wonder...if God is even remotely pleased with my walk in the last twenty years...I know of a year here and there that I was totally out of His will...I still loved God and desired His will, but sometimes those little things in life that try to drag you down succeeded (ya know, the evil one) and I didn't make the choice to stay strong in God. Those were for sure learning experiences! I know now, no matter what comes my way, I am in it wholly and totally for God, I am strong enough in God to make that choice. He gives me that strength!

All that being said...I have to admit, I want to recommit myself to God and His purposes and will in the next 20 years. I want to please Him and make Him proud. I yearn to win souls...I desire with all of my heart and His to disciple...I want my next twenty years to be totally souled out for Him...that's what I want my classmates to see at MY twentieth reunion...and that's what I want the whole world to see, for that matter!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Zumba my what?

So...I've had a new experience this week. Well, I've "kinda" tried it before, but this is all new to me for the most part. Five letter word...starts with Z...ends with "you want me to shake my WHAT?" That's right my friends...Zumba!!

A few weeks ago, as most of you know, I started taking a Boot Camp style exercise class at my hubby's work. A certified instructor teaches it, it was reasonably priced, so I thought, can't hurt, right?? Can't hurt?? I couldn't walk after the first day, well, not upright anyway. But, of course, after a few days, the pain was minimal and the gain was fantastic. Some of my (SOME, not all, SOME) of my flab was getting tighter, I felt better and inches were melting, MELTING I SAY, off. What a great deal! Go be tortured for one hour, twice a week, and see amazing results! So this week (week 5 i think??) we started trying some Zumba. Trying is the operative word. Like any good Bible study or great exercise class, our numbers have dwindled from 8 or 9 per class to, oh, 3 or 4 per class. Good I say. No one to watch me shake my bootie. I was really excited to try Zumba, especially with such a small number. So let the music begin...wait. First, I have to issue one of my famous disclaimers. I am the whitest (I do not mean that to be racist, I mean that to say most Black folks and Latinos have excellent rhythm and dancing abilities), most rhythmless (is that a word??), uncoordinated chick you have ever met...seriously. So back to the music. I am so focused on getting the moves right that I can only remember one or two of the songs...but I do remember the Black Eyed Peas song, I've Got a Feeling...know which one I'm talking about?? Anway...the music begins...we start with a small movement, called the grapevine. The next thing I know we are speeding up and out of control. She wants me to shake my what? To pump what? There are parts of my body jiggling, jangling, and complaining that I didn't know existed. I love it. So we move on. We discussed the fact that at the Y they have mirrors, which help you to know when your movements don't match the instructor and it's easier to correct...yeah, okay, whatever. If I saw all of my stuff moving the way that I can only imagine that it moves...well, I'd probably laugh or cry through the whole class. So after what seems like 50 songs (probably more like 5 or 6), we slow down to our cool off phase...and on to working our abs. Working your abs is boring until you work them with Lady GaGa...

So I find out that Zumba is fun...hard, but fun. I think I've sweated off 4 lbs collectively in the last two days. But I love the great effects of the exercise class 1) Pounds off; 2) Inches off; 3) Now I can keep up with the rest of the Class of 89' this weekend at Paul's 2oth reunion...ha! It makes me think of how God works us sometimes. When lumps and bumps in life come our way...maybe when we are out of His will, or maybe He just wants to show us something important. Sometimes it hurts at first, burns, even makes you breathless...but then, after a day, a few days or even a month or more of being dedicated and obedient, the lasting, wonderful effects become obvious...and it becomes apparent what God was trying to show us during that hard time. It's a time of growth and gain..for the good :)