Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Blogging

One of my nearest and dearest friends, Beth, over at will I ever wear a white shirt again?  The Messy Journey of a Life Surrendered to Jesus, asked me to guest blog for her this week as a part of her June series on intentional living.  WOW!!!  What an honor!!! 

The longer I live the more I'm convinced that God brings people in and out of our lives for a reason.  He brings people into our lives to grow us or for us to be a part of their growth;  He brings people into our lives to show us something new, insightful, or challenging.  He brings people into our lives to point us to Him and sometimes to simply bless this journey we're on called life.  I am so very blessed by those He's putting in my life--those that challenge me to be a better Christ-follower, better wife, better mom, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, . . ., those that show me a glimpse of who I am and who I want to be in Christ, those that allow me to be an extension of His grace, mercy, and love, those that love me well and that teach me to love deeper and more authentically.  That's my friend Beth.  She's been such a challenge to me, such a blessing, such a motivator at times.  She makes me think deeper, love longer and stronger, and long to be more like Christ. 

So, to be asked to guest blog--WHAT A BLESSING!! Here it is if you'd like to link up and read what God's teaching me about intentional living with the life He's giving me NOW!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


This past Christmas season we were blessed in our home to discover the devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I have found the words to speak to me RIGHT WHERE I AM as I travel this spiritual journey.  Actually the only way I can explain the deep significance with which the words resonate is that the Holy Spirit allows the words of the author's pen to transcend time and space into my life and to speak directly to my situation as if Jesus Himself were sitting at my kitchen table talking to me.  Just this week I felt God's Word intersect my current, harried, frustrated, frazzled, I feel out of control mindset with such a gentle and soft-spoken word as I read the devotion for June 17.  The author's words reminded me to stop.  To STOP and breathe deeply.  To inhale all that God has and is and will continue to do on my behalf.  To STOP and to RECALL that He is GOD and that He does not need me to be in control.  To STOP and to sing PRAISE.  To STOP and to recognize all the gifts that are mine, even in the midst of sickness, and flood, and dust, and piles of clutter that I can't uncover because I'm living in the middle of a construction zone, and days when I know I'm far past the limit of what I can handle on my own. 

These simple words spoke to me and I thought they might speak to you too.  So I share with you from the author, Sarah Young (Jesus Calling).  "Relax and know that I am God with you.  When you desire My will above all else, life becomes much less threatening.  Stop trying to monitor My reponsibilities--things that are beyond your control.  Find freedom by accepting the boundaries of your domain. . . .  Do not miss the Joy of My presence by carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders."

So today as I give thanks, I am reminded that in our daily life we really do have a choice to make.  We can CHOOSE the joy of His presence or we can CHOOSE the doubt, the depression, the sadness . . . that the enemy would love to fill our life with.  We won't always feel happiness but we can truly feel that deep sense of joy, the knowing that there's someone bigger in control here.  We can choose to look up to the heavens from where our help comes, knowing that we have so much to thank Him for.  And, I choose to believe that when I begin to focus on the THANKS the doubt and the dread begins to demenish. 

#141  I give thanks for Godly men in my life.  On Father's Day I thought a lot about the men that God placed in my life at different times to guide me from one milemarker to the next.  I'm thankful that God has given my daughters wonderful Godly men to love them, to show them a glimpse of their heavenly father.  These are a few of the men who came to mind:  my dad, my father-in-law, my husband, my brother, Mr. Bull, my pastor when I was a teenager (Troy Finney), my pastor when Jason and I were dating and engaged and newly married (A. J. Alderman), my pastor when Jason and I were becoming new parents and learning how to serve in ministry (Pastor Steven Lester), my Papa. 

#142  I'm thankful when I get to see my girls participate in something they really enjoy like art camp or dance lessons or swimming.  It reminds me how much God must delight as He sees us enjoy the blessings He bestows upon us.

#143  I give thanks for how God puts people at the right place at the right time and then you get to sit back and say WOW!! that was God's provision. 

#144  I give thanks for 3 hours on a Saturday at a block party with total strangers, seeing moms and dads and boys and girls enjoy snow cones and hot dogs and bounce houses. 

#145  I give thanks for the WORD of GOD that is alive and active and sharper than any two edged sword. 

#146  I'm thankful for the truths in Nehemiah that are penetrating my mind and heart with a fresh clarity and challenge.

#147  I'm thankful for fresh zucchini and cucumbers and green onions.

#148  I'm thankful for an updated home study.

#149  I'm thankful for doctors.

#150  I'm thankful for my friend Beth.  If I said this everyday, it would not be often enough.  She blesses my life and challenges me to be a better person.  God knew I would need her during this season and I am thankful doesn't really do it justice.

#151  I'm thankful for fresh paint.

#152  I'm thankful for new shelves in my garage.

#153  I'm thankful for a weekend getaway to Savannah with my hubby.  What fun!!! 

#154  I'm thankful for my two daughters.  I'm thankful for the wonderfully, creative personalities that God has given them both.  I'm thankful for the way they can play together for hours and how they love each other and protect each other.  I'm thankful that they care about the things of God and want to serve Him.  I'm thankful that God has given me the amazing opportunity to be their mom. 

#155  I'm thankful for SUMMER!!!!!  I'm thankful for a God that created the seasons, the planets, the stars, and holds it altogether.  I'm thankful that as I look all around me I see so many signs of an AMAZING creator and yet I know that this same God loves me; He knows me by name and He cares about my every care.  How amazing is THAT!!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

15 Wonderful Years. . . For That I Think I'll Say Thanks!!!

Today is no ordinary Thankful Thursday.  It's a monumental day on the calendar of life.  It's a mile marker, a stone of remembrance, a flag raised on this journey of life. . .  It's a day to celebrate life and marriage and love and happiness and choosing to live the covenant relationship that Christ has called us to.  It's a day to say thanks to God for helping us stick it out when the world around us is throwing in the towel.  It's a day to say thanks to God for choosing us for each other, knowing we would need the strengths and weaknesses of one another in this journey toward Christ likeness.  It's a day to say thanks to God for showing us that it's okay to not be perfect, to not have it all together all the time, that it's okay to simply love Him and love others.  It's a day to look at one another and say I love you, and after 15 wonderful years, I'm so glad God gave me you to do this thing called life with. 

So, on this Thankful Thursday, I'm going to keep it short and sweet.  I'm thankful for my husband; I'm thankful for a marriage that is not perfect but a marriage that is teaching me more about Christ and His love, His grace, and His mercy everyday.  I'm thankful for the wonderful opportunity to love and serve my husband and my children everyday.  There is no greater privilege than loving my husband and loving my children well.  I'm thankful that I get the great joy of being married to my best friend.  I'm thankful that we have lots of fun together.  I'm thankful that God is breaking our hearts for the same things.  I'm thankful that while I don't know what the future holds I do know that the God who spoke the universe into existence knows me by name.  He has a wonderful plan for my marriage, my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.  And, I plan on growing old with my wonderful hubby (I just don't plan on growing gray--WINK, WINK!!!). 
Happy 15th Anniversary, Jason!!!