Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great Expectations

We were sitting in the drive-through window at our bank. The drawer opened. I removed my deposit receipts and drove away.

"Am I invisible?", came the small disappointed voice from behind me.

Then it dawned on me. My six year old son had been waiting patiently in the back seat of the van, expecting to receive a lollipop from the teller. I felt sorry for him. I did not even think about the fact that he had been excited about getting a treat until he muttered those sad little words.

Have you ever felt that way? Invisible, I mean?

I certainly have.

How many times I have walked down the halls at church, expecting a "hello" and a smile from a passer-by, but didn't receive one.

How many times I have wanted my husband to notice I cleaned up the house so it would be nice for him and he didn't.

How many times I have wanted my teenage son to give me a hug before heading out the door, but he forgot.

How many times I have wanted to be a part of the group of friends, but wasn't invited.

The list is endless. I'm sure you have a list of your own. The funny thing about that list, though, is our level of expectation. We are expecting things and reactions from people who aren't even aware of our desires. They do notice us. But, they cannot read our minds. They have no earthly idea what we are expecting from them.

Why do we place such high expectations on others, but often forget how we are treating them?

You be the one that smiles and gives a cheerful hello to that passer-by at church. Especially that new family who doesn't know a soul there.

You greet your husband at the door when he gets home from work with a warm welcome and a haven of rest. He will definitely notice that!

You grab your teenager before they head out for the day and tell them they are loved immensely.

Why not call a group of friends together for a Girl's night out? You can be the initiator. Don't wait until they realize they have overlooked you.

Today is the day! Find a person you can bless. Even if they have never lifted a finger to patronize you in any way at all. Commit a random act of kindness. Think of someone who may feel invisible and make them feel worthy and loved.

Believe me, after doing that, you won't feel invisible anymore. You will feel 10 feet tall! You will feel gratified! You will feel the love of Jesus flowing all over and through you!

That is something worthy of expectation.

I'm off to get my little guy a lollipop. See ya tomorrow!
Love and Blessings,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturation Saturday

Yesterday I talked about our "Teeth Troubles" and touched on the fact that the "suit" we wear in public sometimes gives us our sense of security (or insecurity).
Today I would like to speak further about that subject of keeping up appearances.
Does it really matter if your smile reveals a couple of flaws in your appearance?
Hebrews 13:2-"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."
Psalms 34:5- "Those who look to Him are radiant; Their faces are never covered with shame."
What really matters is that you do smile at those in your path, encourage those that need it, and spread a bit of God's love and mercy along the way.
Does it really matter what kind of house you have or what neighborhood in which you reside?
Proverbs 3:33-"The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous."
2 Samuel 7:10-11- "And I will provide a place for my people and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed.........'The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you.' "
What really matters is that your house is a home. That it is established by and honors God and blesses all who enter in as a place of refuge and a haven of peace.
Does it really matter if you are "keeping up with the Joneses" with your lifestyle or your material possessions?
1 Samuel 16:7- But the Lord said to Samuel,"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
What really matters is that we are living a life that is pleasing to our Creator, our Savior and Our Lord. No matter where we live it, what we possess materially, or how others view us in accordance with worldly standards.
What if you had to give it all up today? Could you remain at peace and know that God provides all you need? Could you be satisfied with only Him if your "suit" was not as attractive as you would like it to be?
Luke 12:15- "...Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Romans 15:13-"May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Our satisfaction comes from Him. He will fill us. Lay the "suit" down and trust Him.
Just a little nugget for thought.
Stay saturated today with God's love and peace and the truth of His Word.
Love and Blessings,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Teeth Troubles

Teeth. That has been the topic of interest around our house this week.

My six year old lost one yesterday. He looks so cute!

I lost one, too. I don't look so cute.

The Tooth Fairy didn't even pay me a visit. I tried. Put my big, ole ugly tooth under the pillow and everything. Didn't work though.

Austin got a dollar for his tooth falling out. I got nothing but a gaping hole in my mouth and a lot of pain. I've been on pain meds since yesterday afternoon. (Hence this weird post!)

I had an infected tooth and put it off as long as I could due to lack of dental insurance. That left me with no choice but to have it pulled. Bad thing is that it is near the front of my mouth. As a person who struggles with self-esteem, this is NOT good.

I am praying, though, that God will make a way for me to be able to get it fixed. Just so I won't look too goofy. I am scheduled to speak at a women's retreat in three weeks. I'm guessing at least I will probably be able to keep their attention as they gaze into the "big black hole" while I am talking. It will give them something to focus on. Oh my! Pray for me.

Anyway, Austin and I got into an interesting conversation this morning as he climbed into bed with me after his daddy left for work. It went something like this:

Austin: "Tooth feelin' better today, mom?"

Me: "A little."

Austin: "Just do like I do. Put all your food and drink on the other side of your mouth and then it won't hurt so much."

Me: "I'll have to try that. You give great advice for a little guy. Maybe you should grow up and be a dentist."

Austin: "Yeah! That would be great!! Then when you need to get a tooth fixed, you wouldn't have to go all the way to the dentist's office! I could do it for you!!"

Me: "Yeah! Like when you need a haircut, you don't have to go all the way to the salon. I just do it for you here."

Austin: " Well, I think I WILL be a dentist when I grow up. Do I have to go to school for it?"

Me: "Yeah."

Austin: " I don't know. Don't dentists have to pull teeth and see blood and look inside people's gross mouths?"

Me: "Yeah, but they make lots of money."

Austin: "Enough to buy us a really big house?"

Me: "Yes."

Austin: "I don't think I like the blood thing too much. If I go to school to be a dentist, do I get to keep the dentist suit even if I quit being a dentist?"

Me: "I guess."

Austin: "Well, I think I WILL be one!"

I reckon the suit is all that matters, huh? Guess we are all caught up a little in how we look! Just so long as we have a cool "suit", all is well.

I'll be back again tomorrow. Maybe I won't be on meds then and my next post will have a much deeper spiritual meaning. Until then.......


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturation Saturday Praises!

For those of you who have asked about Andrea, my cousin's fiance, I have some wonderful news!!! (If you aren't familiar with the story, read the blog posts under "New Baby In The Family").
Andrea is now off the ventilator, out of ICU and in a regular room, and actually walking and eating a little!!!!!! What a true miracle that is!!! God is still in the miracle business, just in case you ever doubted that fact! We all now have tangible proof that He is hard at work, still healing and answering prayer!! She has been at death's door three or more times since giving birth to a precious baby girl 5 weeks ago. Now she's standing at life's door, almost ready to come home and fill the roll of new mommy!!!!
Because of that exhilarating news, today's Bible verses will focus on God's amazing and sovereign power and our heartfelt praise to Him for it!! Get set to saturate yourself in His Word:
Psalm 9 verse 1 (NIV) : "I will praise You O Lord with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. (V2) I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
(verse 9) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (verse 10) Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. (verse 11) Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what He has done!"
Psalm 18 verse 1 (NIV) : "I love You, O Lord, my strength. (verse 2) The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in Whom I take refuge. (verse 6) In my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. (verse 16) He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. (verse 32) It is God Who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (verse 35) You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great. (verse 46) The Lord lives!! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!! (verse 49) Therefore I will praise You among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to Your name!"
No matter what you are facing today, God is holding you in His mighty right hand. He is strengthening you every step of the way. Focus on His love for you and His provision in your distress. He is there. He will bring you through to victory!!! Feel that victory in Jesus flowing over you right now!! He still does miracles, no matter how big or small your situation may seem. He is handling it and has unimaginable good things in store for you! May you enjoy a day saturated in His great love for you!
Love and Blessings,

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Kink In The Chain

Have you ever tried to untangle a necklace? It is a daunting task to say the least. It can drive a girl CRAZY, I mean!!! I have been known to just throw the chain away instead of struggling to straighten it out.

Life can be the same way. You get motivated to step out in faith and then things get all tangled up. Frustration sets in. You start questioning your decisions. Then you get tempted to just throw it all away and forget about it.

When things get messed up, then is the time to dig in and trust in what you know God instructed you to do. Keep working on the tangles. Look for ways to reverse the damage. Trace your tracks and make sure you are going in the right direction. Just like Abraham, know that God is guiding you every step of the way. He will never call you and then leave you alone in the desert. He won't leave you twisted and going down the wrong path.

When a chain is tangled, it is weak. God will untwist the mess. He is strongest when we are weak. Don't let the kinks throw you!

1 Corinthians 1:25- "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12- "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But, pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But, how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

A necklace cannot untangle itself, can it? Neither can we. Trust God. Confide in friends. Seek wisdom from the wise. Things WILL straighten out! God's will prevails every time we allow Him to work out the kinks in our mess.

Love and Blessings,

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Steadfast Spirit

Today, I am posting this devotion instead of the usual "Saturation Saturday" article. It is a word in due season for me as I hope it will be for you. I had written it a few months ago and it now ministers to me in a very special way. Funny how God can take my own words to teach me something. Maybe they weren't my own words at all, Huh?

Isaiah 51:16- "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I Who set the heavens in place, Who laid the foundations of the earth, and Who say to Zion, 'You are my people.' "

You may do a word study on "Steadfast" and "Endurance" to enhance your understanding of what God wants us all to learn; The same God Who covers us under His protecting hand...Who leads us through change safely...Who guides us every step of the way...Who grants us the faith to have endurance. He Who put the heavens in place loves us and wants the best for us. Enjoy!

Read: By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls.
(Luke 21:19 AMP)

Have you ever had a dream? Not the kind that slips into your mind at night as you sleep; I mean a true vision for your life. A mission from God.

I have those dreams. Lots of them. Our children are full of those dreams, too. But, they look at them in an entirely different way than we parents do. They see them as something they can actually accomplish. They see them as a challenge and they are eager to conquer!

I saw a perfect example of that childlike perseverance while I was lying on the beach the other day. When I had arrived a couple hours earlier, the surface of the sand was pristine. Beautiful and white. I set up my "spot", greased up with sunscreen, and positioned myself for a nice relaxing afternoon. I must have zoned out for a while, because when I opened my eyes, the clean pristine beach had been covered over with mounds and mounds of seaweed. It went on endlessly as far as my eyes could see in both directions.

My mom and I noticed a little girl. As we watched her, we realized she was on one of those missions only accomplished through childlike faith. She meticulously picked up armload after armload of seaweed and ran to the water's edge to toss it back in. She had a vision of depositing every last piece of that messy stuff right back into the ocean where it belonged. She did not see it as impossible, though to onlookers, it seemed a daunting task beyond any hope of completion. In her mind, she saw the end result: a nice clean beach that she could be proud of! She had hope! She had endurance! She had perseverance! She had a vision!

I don't think you would ever see an adult trying to do what that determined little girl was doing. We would see it as useless. Why even try to take on something so tedious, so impossible.

You see, kids look at something like that with possibility thinking; Nothing is beyond their accomplishment as far as they are concerned. They are born with a natural faith. If they have an idea, you can bet they are going for it; full speed ahead! They don't ever think of the obstacles.

God created us to be dream-catchers! Who do you think He gives us all those great ideas? Even those little 'inklings" that tell us to bless someone, give away some money, or speak to that stranger. I know me. I am too eager to second-guess those little "inklings", not to mention the big dreams. I tend to focus on the obstacles and the seeming unlikeliest of those big dreams ever coming true. Most adults do.

God is willing to provide us with all we need to carry out His plans for us. But, we usually want to see the whole blueprint before we even get started. That's not really how He works. In Genesis 12, God told Abraham to pick up and go to a land that He would show him. Abraham went. He didn't ask how, when or where. He just went. He just had faith he would get to the land God had set aside for him. He didn't have the slightest idea where he was headed in a physical sense. He just knew in his heart what wonderful blessings were waiting for him there. (Wherever "there" turned out to be.) He certainly faced obstacles on the journey, but he just kept trudging through the mire to complete the mission the Lord had given him.

Go ahead. Write down those dreams. Write down the awesome possibilities and blessings that await you when you get there. Don't ignore those "inklings". And, DO NOT focus on the obstacles. Instead of seeing the endless piles of seaweed, envision the pristine, white beach. Work hard and be patient. Your perseverance will pay off! You will get to that land, that true life, the Lord has waiting for you!

Prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and give me the faith of a child, that I may have a persevering and steadfast spirit within me.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Love and Blessings,

Monday, August 4, 2008



Change is often Exciting.

Change is often Intimidating.

Change is often Unexpected.

Change is Always Inevitable.

Even so, I don't usually adapt well to it; Not a good trait for me to exhibit, because My family is facing quite a few changes. Some good. Some we aren't sure are good at all.

For this one thing though, I am forever thankful: Jesus Christ is ALWAYS the same (Hebrews 13:8).

He is my strength when I am weak.

He is my refuge when I am afraid.

He is my constant in this world of change.

I am glad I have Him to hold on to when change sneaks up on me when I least expect it.

Otherwise, I would go into a tailspin. I would lose control. I would hide in fear.

Funny how you think some things will always be a certain way, then they up and, you know..... change.

Please pray for my family as we face a world of new opportunities. Some we are excited about. Some we are leery to step into. Some things we are reluctant to let go of.

One thing I know is that God is in complete control of our lives. We want Him to be. We would not have it any other way. Because, after all, He NEVER changes!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturation Saturday

Welcome once again to our special Saturday Soaking in God's Word. I'm so glad you joined me today!
This week, I have faced a varying schedule. I am usually pretty routine about how I spend my days; Certain days for certain things. Don't misunderstand, though. I am about as unsystematic as they come, but I basically do the same thing every week, in a very chaotic way! Go figure.
I had a rare opportunity Thursday to spend the day with a dear friend. I even got another friend to babysit! Talk about rare. That is something I NEVER do. Taking time for myself is a rarity.
The time my friend and I relished together was so refreshing. Over lunch, we had a conversation concerning our tendency to get blown out of the water when things don't go according to our "plan for the day". One little unexpected bump in our schedule can get us in a tizzy. Funny for two Christian women who completely trust the Lord and His wisdom, isn't it?
Do you ever find yourself feeling that way? I think most people do. Probably we women most of all.
God has laid on my heart this week to pour over Psalm 34 on a daily basis. I have read it several times each day. God has given me much insight through those words. Today, on this Saturation Saturday, I will post them here for you, also, to be drenched in.
Does your schedule leave you feeling dry? Do you lean on God when things go askew? Do you stop and give Him praise in the midst of the chaos? Steep your dehydrated self in His Words. Let Him speak to your spirit. Dive in with me:
Psalm 34 (AMP)
v1) I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
(Even when things get all thrown off schedule)
v2) My life makes it's boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.
(I will bless Him in my coming and in my going as an example of His goodness)
v3) O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
( Let's praise Him together in every circumstance!!)
v4) I sought (inquired of) the Lord required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
(I boldly speak with the authority of His word out of my need for Him and He acknowledges my faith!)
v7) The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers.
(He is always with me, even when I don't see Him working. He is standing in the gap for me!)
v8) O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is Good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
( People will see me as blessed and joyous! They will desire what I possess! I lean on His wisdom every day and he frees me from distress!)
v9) O fear the Lord, you His saints, [revere and worship Him]! For there is NO WANT to those who truly revere and worship Him with Godly fear.
(I will want for nothing if my desire is for Him above all else!)
v14) Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!
( I will go about my day serving others in His name; Thirsting for His peace and His provision. He will fill me!)
v17) When the righteous cry out for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.
( How cool and awesome is that!!!)
v18) The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.
( My God forgives me of my faults and heals me when I am broken before Him.)
v19) Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers Him out of them all.
( I am not promised a life of ease, but I am promised deliverance by a God of mercy!)
v22) The Lord redeems the lives of His servants, and none of those who take refuge and trust in Him shall be condemned or held guilty.
( Once again...how cool and awesome is that? SELAH)
I pray you will have a Saturday submerged in His love and His grace! Do something radical today...get out of your comfort zone. He is right beside you and wants to lead you to undiscovered places! Dive in!
Love and Blessings,