Friday, December 30, 2011

What is a RESOLUTION??



Resolution

Definition:
From Google
  1. A firm decision to do or not to do something
  2. A formal expression of opinion or intention agreed on by a legislative body, committee, or other formal meeting, typically after taking a vote 
  3. The quality of being determined or resolute
  4. The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter
  5. The passing of a discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony
  6. The disappearance of inflammation, or of any other symptom or condition
  7. The process of reducing or separating something into its components
  8. The replacing of a single force or other vector quantity by two or more jointly equivalent to it
  9. The conversion of something abstract into another form
  10. The substitution of two short syllables for one long one
  11. The smallest interval measurable by a scientific (esp. optical) instrument; the resolving power
  12. The degree of detail visible in a photographic or television image


    I've never looked at the definition of the word 'Resolution' before now. 
    I've said it, year after year, "This is my New Year's Resolution!", and year after year, I have dropped that thing like a hot potato, most years before the month of May had even arrived!

This year of 2011, I had decided to lose weight, like so many of us do; And I made it until the month of August, when we moved and the elliptical sat in our new garage among boxes for a few months, and unpacking, decorating, purging our 'stuff' took precedence over counting calories, jogging and working out. 
Between January and August, I had lost about 23 pounds, which was right at my halfway mark. 

And now, I sit here, to openly admit, I have gained back at least, if not more than, 13 pounds of that...and my clothes barely fit again, and I feel miserable. 

But guess what?

January 1, 2012 is upon us, and we have another year for a brand new resolution. 

The first definition of RESOLUTION is one of my favorites. "A FIRM DECISION"
  • Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Psalm 20:8
  • He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2
  • Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.1 Corinthians 15:58
I am making a FAITH decision to stand FIRM against the power that Satan has led me to believe my weight and food have over me! The only power over me is that of Christ Jesus who died for my sins and has brought me into freedom through the power of His Righteous and Holy Blood! And I fall to my knees to that power! I am HIS servant and my body should glorify Him. I should not indulge myself to food and laziness! It is sin! 

  • Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The second definition I believe can be applied to group decisions: family, church, etc. Family resolutions are important; my family currently does not have one, but I am praying for my husband and I to discuss and pray on this issue and seek God's will for our family's direction and path, including our family issue with food and exercise. 

The third definition, in my opinion, goes right along with number one! BEING DETERMINED. Not changing your mind, or falling off the wagon. Resolving to stick it out! 

I like number four too: The ACTION of solving a PROBLEM, dispute or contentious matter. My friends, I have a problem with my weight and food! I have a dispute with the fat cells in my body! I have a contentious matter with my taste buds! And I am taking action against them all in 2012! 

I had to check on a few things for number 5: definition of the two words: Discord and Concord
DiscordDisagreement between people. ConcordAgreement or harmony between people or groups.
I can't really think of a way to apply this to my current weight issue, but I have a few relationships of discord in my life that I would like to resolve and bring into harmony. Some are simply in my mind alone. Anyone know what I'm talking about? I'm praying for your situation too. 

Number 6 is really cool: Disappearance of any symptom or condition! WOW! How about the disappearance of  my muffin top, thunder thighs and bubble butt! LOL I'm sorry! I just couldn't resist!  
But seriously, I am praying for healing from this condition...and for some family members that are fighting cancer as well. I know that we all know some folks who could use some resolution like this! Amen? AMEN! 

Definition 7: PROCESS of reducing and separating into components. Steps must be taken to take things apart. It took many pizzas, cookies, chips and cheeseburgers to put all of this together...and so naturally, it will take many jumping jacks, hours of jogging, hours on the elliptical and calories not ingested to take it off! There has to be a process! Step by step...it is not an overnight occurrence! 

And I will be stopping there with definition breakdown! Definitions 8-12 honestly bore me and I just couldn't think of any way to apply them. 
Besides that, 7 is a great number you know. Completeness. I think that these seven different definitions of the one word, RESOLUTION, could help me tremendously in my weight walk of 2012! 

I've just never looked at the concept of a New Year's Resolution. I've played along, spoken words that I really did not believe in. But this will be different! My New Year's Resolution is not just about weighing less or fitting into a certain size jeans. It is about STANDING FIRM and GLORIFYING GOD! 

That is what He has called us to do! That is our purpose in this physical life! 

Let's resolve to be obedient this year! 
Show the world that we stand on THE ROCK and will not be shaken! 



Praying for you for 2012! 




Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recognizable

So.

I had a thought this morning. A big one actually.

The thought led to the question, "Am I recognizable?"

  • To God
  • To Fellow Believers
  • To Strangers
  • To Myself













Let me tell you a very short story:

I was driving to work this morning, in a bit of a hurry. I was running really late. I mean, after 8 days off for Christmas vacation (a post and pictures will be posted soon), it takes a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. 
To get to my office, I have to turn down a dirt road and about 1/10th of a mile, come to a guard shack with a gate that is only opened with my ID badge, or the nice guards press a button and the gate opens so that I never even have to stop. :)
I barely made the turn down the road and the gate began to open. The guard, B.F., recognized my car and as I drove past, he smiled and waved 'Good Morning' to me. 

And at that moment ladies and gentlemen, I asked the question, "Am I recognizable?"
Not in the physical way.

In the Holy Spirit way.

A picture flashed in my brain: pearl and gold gates on a road of clouds
I turn down the road.
Do the gates begin to open?
Do I need to swipe my badge?
Do the guards recognize me and press the button and wave me through?

Do my brothers and sisters in Christ look at me and see the Holy Spirit in me?
Do my actions reflect Christ and His Presence in me?
Do strangers see me, hear me, and know that something is different and long for it too?

Do I look in the mirror to see a daughter of the King?
Do I know and believe that I am loved, forgiven and blessed?
Do I see a faithful Christ-follower and servant to the Mighty God?

One turn down a dusty dirt road and God had convicted me and placed on my heart so much to pray about, to seek His Word about. 
The most awesome part is that the study I am currently doing, James: Mercy Triumphs, is so much about these questions...The book of James stirs up buried things in the marrow of my bones, and brings them into the Light so that I can deal with them, be cleansed, be healed, be renewed, and walk in a way that is RECOGNIZABLE to God...to His people...to unbelievers...and to myself. 

I want to be recognized as His child. I want to reflect Him in every way possible. When I turn down that eternal road at the end of this physical life, I long for those guards to recognize me before they even see me, so that I can walk through and meet my Savior face to face without ever skipping a beat!!!


 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God.
The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. 
But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.
 When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you.
John 14:16-18


My dearly loved brothers, understand this: 
Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 
for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 
Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, 
humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.
James 1:19-21

First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!...
Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. 
You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. 
Seize the day.
Luke 9:60b, 62

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CHRISTmas Spirit





My favorite time of the year! I don't like being out in the cold, but I sure enjoy it being cold, so that we can turn the heat on, wear warm, fuzzy pajamas and socks, make hot cocoa, chili and cornbread, bake cookies, snuggle under blankets, decorate the house, give gifts to family and friends (and even strangers), think back on memories from Christmases past, and really truly remind ourselves of the TRUE meaning of Christmas! (I posted about my thoughts on that back in November.)

As much joy as this season brings to me, sometimes I get a little down. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my step-mom's death. Marla Hornsby. She became a good friend to me during her 5 or so year marriage to my dad before she passed. I was thinking of her, remembering times that we shared together, things that she said to me, her smile, her laughter, how she loved to dance with my Aspen...how she was the first person to make Aspen have a long, heavy fit of laughter when she was just months old. Part of me is still so sad...I miss her.
And then I am reminded, by Aspen last night, "You know you can talk to her. She told us we could. God will tell her everything you want her to know. And one day, mommy, you and me will see her again in heaven. She doesn't have to eat now, or drink, or go potty. She's ok."

I sat in my car crying, sad tears, joyful tears, proud-of-my-girl tears, thankful tears.

I cry a lot lately...for no reason...just out of the blue, crying until it hurts, until I'm exhausted.

I see God in it all! In everything! It is hard to see Him sometimes, especially when my stubborn self gets so worked up, so sad or so angry. But He is definitely opening my heart, my mind, my eyes, to look through the lens of the Cross in every situation of my life, to seek Him out in it, and find the JOY that He sent to earth so many years ago on a cold December day:

To be born
To teach
To heal 
To live
To be scorned
To be beaten
To be hung
To die
To be buried
To be resurrected
To ascend
TO SAVE

The Christmas Story is so beautiful, even with pain and sadness woven into it. 

The picture of a sweet baby Savior, sent as our undeserving Gift, to save us from the chains of sin and the nets of our enemies. 

I'm in awe today of the work that He is doing in my heart. The verse that I woke up to on my phone this morning says, 
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; 
And renew a right spirit within me." 
Psalm 51:10 ASV

He is renewing my spirit---creating within me, my CHRISTmas Spirit




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Month of Thanks: Days 22-30!

Gonna catch up and finish up the month of November, Month of Thanks Series!



Day 22: I'm thankful for the thorns. Read THIS!  I was convicted to share this with a very good friend of mine and I pray that you will find as much appreciation of that story as I have!



Day 23: Thankful for my family and friends! I could have mentioned SO MANY names on this one, because when I stop and think about how many of you that I truly thank God for, I am overwhelmed! I've lost many things in my life, but one thing that I realize I haven't lost is family, and that includes the friends that I am speaking of. I love you all so very much...each person holds a special place in my life, and I do thank God each time I think of you! So if you get that feeling in your heart when you are reading this, you probably know that you are one of the people I am talking about! Thank you for being there for me, for putting up with me and for loving me no matter what! Philippians 1:3 "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God."



Day 24: I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without HIM, we would have nothing to be thankful for...all previous days would be filled with void instead of the many, many blessings that were named. I pray whole-heartily that many, many more people would come to know my Beloved Savior...to feel what it feels like to commune with Him. To know the peace that only He can give when the waves are crashing all around our feeble ships. He makes each day worth living...nothing else could ever bring me the joy that I feel in my relationship with The One and Only! I pray everyone has (had) a great Thanksgiving, and that you get (or got) full on food and family!





Day 25: Thankful to be blessed with family members that are as crazy as me, to shop on Black Friday for hours on end and have a BLAST together! That is what family is for!!!



Day 26: being arts-n-crafty! I don't have much time between my family and work to indulge my creative side very often...but I sure do enjoy it when I do! Decorating my home for Christmas is such a treat! And making a new recipe every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas is joy to me! I'm thankful God gave me a creative-imaginative bone in my body!



Day 27: Thankful that on sick days like today, there is nothing better than my comfy couch and pjs, lights low and my hubby to pick up pizza so I don't have to cook! :)



Day 28: I'm thankful for Facebook (not always, but today)...I get to see pictures of my nieces and my sisters and my brother that I would otherwise probably never see. It allows me to watch them grow up in a way. It allows me to stay in touch with friends from my childhood, friends that I don't see often...And I can share my life with them too...and most of all, I can shine my light for Jesus!!!



Day 29: I'm thankful for lemon cookies from Cross Creek Sandwich Shop in Conway AR! O.M.G. Gooey, lemony, yummy, goodness!



Day 30: I'm thankful for this challenge: for the daily reminder to seek out the blessings in my life, no matter how big or small. Each day in itself is a blessing to be thankful for. We are not promised another day....we aren't even promised another beat of our heart, another single inhale or exhale. Think about it...be thankful for everything: the good, the bad, the in between!

It is all to HIS glory! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Not Doing Christmas this Year!

**I realize that Thanksgiving has not even gotten here yet, but I felt so convicted to post this.
I want to begin by just saying that inspiration for this post came from my baby sister saying these exact words to me today on the phone. I'm asking for prayer for her and her family as they go through some rough times...and mostly, I am asking for prayer for her salvation and the salvation of her family. Thanks**


"I'm not doing Christmas this year!"

That is what my sister told me today on the phone. She had called for my address to send me a card, so I asked if it was a Christmas card, and that was her reply.
When I asked her why, she responded with a list of things that are more important than presents and gifts, and pointed out how all of those things, bills, and responsibilities, left her family with little money to buy gifts.

This troubles me because a few years ago, I probably would have said the same thing. Christmas has been commercialized to the point that people feel that if they don't have money, they can't celebrate!

The true meaning of Christmas has been lost! Snowballed over and covered up with wrapping paper, bows and pretty tags!

CHRIST has been taken out of Christmas! CHRISTmas is what we are left with. OR X-mas!

It is Jesus that should be gifted...the story of His glorious birth, handed down from generation to generation. Sharing the story of His birth, the reason He was GIFTED to us, so that we could have eternal life!
HE IS THE GREATEST GIFT THAT WE'VE EVER RECEIVED
AND HIS STORY IS THE GREATEST GIFT
THAT WE COULD EVER GIVE TO ANOTHER PERSON!

It is about JESUS CHRIST!

It never was about the presents, the tree they sit under, the paper they are wrapped in, the store they were bought at, the price that was paid for them...NONE of that matters one single bit. Yes, it is so much fun to give gifts...to pick the perfect presents for the special people in our lives, to wrap them nicely and then to see the expression on their faces when they open them! That is all good and fine and I am not putting that down one bit, because I so enjoy it too!

BUT, it literally breaks my heart to hear my sister say, that because she won't have money, that she just isn't doing Christmas at all this year. I so want her to know, that it is about so much more than that...

I pray that this year you (and I) share about Jesus more this Christmas season than what is under the tree. Share HIS STORY...it leads right into yours' you know?

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!


Month of Thanks: A full week + 1 day :)

The following are my days of giving thanks 14-21: (I missed posting while enjoying each and every one!)

Day 14: My new cd, The Story! Picked it up tonight at Lifeway and Aspen and I already love it! What a way to review stories from the Bible! If you haven't checked it out already, you must: http://www.thestorycd.com/  It is amazing and I am so thankful for it!





Day 15: Siesta Scripture Memory Team or SSMT! My verses are here: http://seekingpeaceinastorm.blogspot.com/p/ssmt-2011.html
To read all about it and check out THOUSANDS of other verses that many, many other women are choosing to memorize, follow this link: http://blog.lproof.org/category/scripture-memory-2011


Day 16: SLEEP. I saw a quote on Pinterest that I just had to share, because it seriously sums my thinking up completely!!!
Day 17: Today I am thankful for my second born child, my son, Hunter Garrett Milam. I can't believe he is almost 2! His smile, his voice, his soft hand holding mine, his sweet kisses and hugs...I don't even remember life before my little baby boy! :-)
Day 18: my daddy! He has always been a great influence, and although the roles reversed in our relationship the past couple of years, I love him just the same. Praying for him to have strength, courage, wisdom and patience to pull out of the pit and find security in the Most High!
Day 19: My step-mom, Marla...my kids' Nanny. It has been 2 years now since the last time that I saw her...hugged her. She is forever in my heart and on my mind. I miss her every day and I am so thankful that God put her in my life for the 6 years that we had with her. We love you Nanny-Marla!


Day 20: Josh's days off. I love having our little family of four together for lazy weekends, playing games, eating meals and watching movies.

Day 21: Thunderstorms, beautiful sounds and smells... although it wakes both kids up crying, they both end up snuggled in our bed with us, which is a great way to wake up!


Whew! So much to be thankful for!!!

Psalm 34:1
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.




Monday, November 14, 2011

Month of Thanks: Days 10, 11, 12, 13

We've had a crazy week/weekend with our lovely daughter getting into trouble at school and then Saturday a water pipe busted and flooded our front/side yard, so we were without water for 36 hours or so, and wow...life has just been hitting us pretty hard!
BUT, I give thanks none the less!

Day 10: Today I am thankful for my first born: My beautiful daughter Aspen Allayne Milam. God brought her into our lives in October of 2005 with the news that we were pregnant...and she was born June 10, 2006. She brightens my life and truly changed the way that I think about so many things. I love her so much!



Day 11: 2 things today:
1st, all Veterans of our country. I am thankful for their willing sacrifice to make our lives in the United States free and blessed.



2nd, one of my best true friends ever- She has been here for me since we were children; she has been there through many mistakes, many heartbreaks- laughter, fun, trouble, miracles, pain, blessings, and lots of love. You fit the meaning of a true friend, and I thank God for you today, this 11th day of November, on your birthday! Happy Birthday and I love you, Amy Mort Dial.



Day 12: Today I am thankful for my mom...my kids' Mamaw! We don't see a lot of eachother, but even miles away we feel her love! She has helped shaped my life in many ways and I am so thankful for her!



Day 13: I am thankful for Women's Bible Study Cafe---online women's Bible study group---I'm very busy, full-time job, and mother of two, and can't always make it to in-person Bible studies multiple days of the week. But with an online study, I can sit at home and discuss God, His Word and what He is doing in my life, with other women from different states. Tomorrow we begin James:Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore! I'm thankful that God has given me this way to be in contact with other believers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Month of Thanks: Days 7, 8 &9


Day 7 of giving thanks: I am so thankful for my husband-the man God gave to me, to be complete and unified with. Josh Milam. We have been together 7 years, and each day I fall more and more in love with him. He works so hard to provide for our family, and he balances my craziness and worrying ways! He is a wonderful husband to me, and the best daddy to our beautiful children.  I don't know where I would be without him. I love him more than he will ever know!



Day 8 of giving thanks: Our sponsored child, Uwimpuhwe Oliva from Rwanda. We received a letter from her 2 days ago, and it is always so exciting to open it and read her sweet words. She loves to go to school and she keeps a journal to record Bible verses that she learns. I thank God for the opportunity to help her through sponsorship and the great privilege of getting to know her! (I'm thankful that wonderful husband of mine that I mentioned on day 7 was moved by God at the Love Worth Fighting For event to begin sponsoring a child)



Day 9 of giving thanks: My job; I am so blessed to have a place to work, with good benefits, good people, and a place where I can study my Bible at lunch and profess my faith openly without fear of discrimination. We have a little family within our department and I am just so glad to be a part of it.
An example is this photo: Our youngest, Colby is going through chemo and has lost his hair; so our guys all shaved their heads in honor and support of him and his journey. Now that is family!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Walk and Not Faint


The verse on my phone today is Isaiah 40:31


"but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint."


In order to have my strength renewed, I must hope in the Lord.
The Archaic definition of hope is "to have confidence; trust." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

And that renewing, the result of our trust will be like soaring on wings, running without getting fatigued, walking without being feeble.

Or another definition of the word "faint" is "Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage". http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

So another way to see this result of our trust, this walking and not fainting, is
our walk with God will be full of His conviction, His boldness and His courage in us!

Just one little verse that I have heard or read dozens of times, and yet today, He shed new light on it for me. He is amazing. He intrigues me daily...I don't ever want to not seek Him fully again!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Month of Thanks: Day 6

Thinking about what I am thankful for, and there are so many things! The first 5 days were all very minor blessings, but blessings none the less.

Today I want to share something a little more meaningful:



My brother, Ryan Scott Hornsby. I am so thankful that God gave me him as a baby brother. He is such a wonderful man, seeking God and walking in the Light day in and day out. I had the privilege of him staying with my family for about 3 1/2 years, and I am amazed at his growth and maturity. He is involved in mission work and very involved in his church, helping with the youth every chance he gets and literally trusting God for every single necessity. He is a truly an inspiration, blesses my life and the life of my kids and I am thankful for him each day!!

WE LOVE YOU RYAN! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Month of Thanks: Day 5

Day 5 of giving thanks: I am thankful for washing machines (I know, surprising, right?)...after two days of Hunter throwing up on almost every blanket and towel, the washing machine has been one of my best friends :)

And here is a pic of my little guy sleeping today:

He is feeling much better since this morning! And we all have clean sheets and towels :)
Praise God! 

Fall Leaf Epiphany



I was sitting in my living room eating lunch, and I glanced out the window, watching the wind in the trees. I noticed 2 trees right beside eachother, one green, with a little bit of yellow and the other mostly reddish-brown.

At that moment, seriously, I about jumped for joy! I'm pretty sure I jumped up and down and loudly proclaimed "Wow!".

Ok, so back to what I had seen---the trees, two of them, different colors.
Look at the trees this time of year, their colors are changing, each tree is different from the one right beside it. Now, the thing that I found interesting and incredible, is that these trees have endured the same exact conditions! They have been exposed to identical circumstances, and yet, they look completely different from eachother!

Okay, I came up with the most obvious reason for this difference on my own: they could be different types/species of trees, which means that they won't react the same to weather and climate conditions.
Then I did a tiny bit of research: http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html
The number one cause of the changing of colors is the change of seasons, shorter days, and less water and light. This change shuts down food production and in return we see beautiful yellow and orange foliage.
In some instances glucose can be trapped, which causes the red color and in others waste is trapped causing the brown colors.

I will move on now to the moral of my epiphany :)

Immediately I compared this view I was looking at to people---mostly, the people around me in my Christian community.
Sometimes we go through situations, not alone, but together. And in such instances, one may think that the effects on all parties will be the same...but that is not so.
We are all so different to begin with, that it only makes sense for us to have different reactions, even if we endure the same circumstances together.

So, do we wish that all of the trees would change the same way at the same time? No. Why? Because without the differences that each tree brings, the view would not be as breath-taking as we know it to be.

The same goes for us: we can't all change in the same ways and at the same times. With our seperate changes, our distinct varieties in spiritual, emotional, physical characteristics, a beautiful scene can be created. It's amazing what we can learn from God's own creation.

The trees outside my window were screaming glory and praise to God, right at me today! I am so thankful that I stopped long enough to see it, to hear it. I can see things a little clearer now; He allowed me to peak into His plan just a little more than yesterday---we aren't meant to be in the same place---to walk in the same shoes---to read the same passages and get the same message from them at the same time, everytime---we aren't always meant to react to a situation in the same manner---
Some run. Some hide. Some stay. Some go. Some talk. Some stay silent. Some scream.Some smile.
Some cry.
Some may go through every single one of these, like a leaf that starts out green, changes to red, orange, yellow, brown... Some may go through totally different stages than these.

We are a part of a gorgeous, perfectly orchestrated scenic panorama by God!

As children of God, earnestly seeking His will in our lives, we should pray that our reactions will reflect and glorify Him, just as the trees in autumn burst with beauty, praising God!
He uses every change, every situation to color us the exact color we are supposed to be, exactly when we are supposed to be it!

I pray that these words made sense---because I am so excited writing them right now!

"He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;" (Daniel 2:21 ESV)    

"He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority." (Acts 1:7 ESV)

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:4,7)

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Month of Thanks!


So, on Facebook, I have been posting each day what I am thankful for, you know, since it is November, the month of Thanksgiving. And I decided to begin of course on November 1st with, I wouldn't say what I am least thankful for, but, just some smaller things and work my way up, so that on Thanksgiving, November 24th, I will post what I am most thankful for, the most meaningful thing in my life!

Today is the 4th, so I will list days 1-4:

11/1/11--- I just love November! So for Day 1 of giving thanks, I am thankful for this month---a reminder of all that I have to be thankful for! Thank you God for this season of Thanksgiving! ♥

11/2/11---Day 2 of giving thanks: Praise & Worship Music! It helps get me back on track! :) Definitely thankful for Christian Music Radio, like K-Love and AFR!


11/3/11---Day 3 of giving thanks: Four walls that surround me, almost at all times: home, work, church...today it is cold and windy, and I pray for those without a safe, warm place to go. May the love of Jesus warm them this season!


11/4/11---Day 4 of giving thanks: I am thankful for the abundance of food available in my refrigerator, at the store, and in restaurants all around us. (God knows I eat too much of it though, lol)


Psalm 9:1
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

 
Psalm 105:1-2
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Been in a Slump


I've been distant for a while...not just from the blogging world, but from a lot of different things, for a lot of different reasons.

#1 I'M IN A SLUMP

Ever been there?

I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel right now. I am overwhelmed and completely tired.


And, it shows!

Step one foot in my house and you will see evidence of my slump. Take a look at my paperwork stack at work (and home) and you will see pieces of my slump. Any night of the week, if you came to my house, you would see me in my slump, staying up way too late with so much on my mind, exhausted, yet I cannot sleep. Any morning of the week, if you were to wake me up first thing, you would see the slump on my face, in my voice, and my hair!

And what no one else sees, God sees...and hears...and feels....and knows...
My prayer-life has not been what God desires...my mind has not been set on things above, and it has me slumped. No, no...let me rephrase that...Me not setting my mind on God, me not setting my eyes on God alone, I have myself slumped.

I've been studying emotions for a little while now. I should be on week 8, but since my "slump", I'm only on week 4, which I have beat myself up for until yesterday.
God revealed to me yesterday that I am exactly where He wanted me to be on my Pure Emotion study.

God is working in me. He is showing me things that I must cut out...showing me that through this "boiling" process, the "gunk" in my life is being removed. (Thanks for the metaphor, Hilary Cleaver)

What I call a slump, God calls refining. My slump is how He is going to prune the bad off of my branches. My change in Christ will not always be without pain. And it is not an automatic, complete change: it has it's ups and downs. My change is a process, and I can either stay caught up in this slump or I can call it part of the process: like Fermentation to make wine (thanks again Hilary for this metaphor).

Fermentation needs oxygen and food---breath of God and God's Word
then temperature and pressure---trials of life
you also have to know when to feed the yeast---being at church and around other believers

My slump is equivalent to the trials of life: Stuck Fermentation: things that are buried that need to be pulled up and out! (I won't go into detail, but please google Stuck Fermentation and the causes...then put it into the perspective that I am talking about here, and wow!)



Matthew 9:17
Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

But God is my Teacher and my Counselor, my Physician and Healer of my heart, and He can do anything: including walking me out of this slump---out of my old wineskin and into a new one!
I must choose daily to be in His presence: it is easy to fall back into old habits, especially when we remove our eyes from Him. I am praying for a resurrection in my life: for a God breathed awakening.


2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Lord,
I pray today, that You would breathe on me God. That I would be awakened to You, and feel Your presence in my life. Father, I just can't stand to be away from You. "My slump" is from my own choice of distance---and I choose now God to come as near to You as I possibly can.
 God, I seek You, I love You and I praise You. I thank You for Your ultimate sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, for me, a wretched sinner.
Lord, I am so unworthy of that offering to save me...and in return, all I have to give is my life...and I pray God, that I bring to You all that You desire of me.
In Your Son's Precious Name,
Amen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quick & Easy (Almost Any Flavor) Pie

I haven't posted a recipe to my blog before, so this is a first! But I am very excited to share this recipe with you---especially for you busy, on a budget families, like mine!

Quick & Easy (Almost Any Flavor) Pie!

1 Ready Made Crust---I used Shortbread
1- 3oz pkg of Jello, Flavor of your choice---I used store brand Strawberry
1/4 cup water
1- 8oz tub of Cool Whip (I recommend Fat Free)

Bring the water to a boil; Quickly mix the gelatin powder thoroughly in the water until dissolved
In a medium bowl, mix gelatin liquid with Cool Whip completely.
Pour into pie crust, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Garnish with fresh fruit before serving.

I literally spent maybe $4 on this pie: $0.88 Cool Whip, $1.89 Pie Crust, $0.39 Jello Mix! The strawberries I already had in my refrigerator as snacks for the kids!
Super cheap pie recipe! Super easy to make!

Below is a photo of the pie that I made today, which was a complete hit with my hubby and kids!
Next time as an added touch I will put cool whip on top with the fruit before I serve it!


I hope that this recipe is a blessing to someone today! 

Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clean Slate



I just wanted to share something that I read tonight....the first page that wrote in my Bible study journal. I wrote this on April 21, 2011 and I am thankful that I re-read it tonight.

There is just something about a clean sheet of paper. It makes me happy! A new notepad and pen lift my spirits for some odd reason. I guess one of my most favorite idesa is that of a "Clean Slate".

I like to rearrange furniture; clean and organize things; and as weird as it seems, I don't mind moving at all, except for the packing, loading/unloading of the U-haul. But I love to put pictures up, arrange furniture in a room for the first time.
Just the newness, the excitement of a clean, blank canvas, waiting to become a masterpiece!

This notepad was bought for a reason--I will be starting a Bible study in 4 days, No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. And I wanted to begin a notebook for notes, journaling, scratching down thoughts and ideas, so that I might dig deeper and glean more from this study than I would just answering questions from the book.

I want this notebook to contain not just words that I can share with those I am studying with, but also things that I want to ask God or tell God or praise God for. I want to write things down to make myself face issues I have and take them to the Cross to be dealt with.

Sometimes it helps to have a visual aid--to watch that clean space be filled up just to know what we have and what is no longer ours (mine) to carry!

I can't believe I wrote that! But boy did I need it today!!!

Proverbs 12:25Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. (NLT)

Philippians 4:6-7Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Matthew 6:31-33So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (NLT)

1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (NLT)

Monday, September 12, 2011

SO MANY BOOKS, so little time

It feels like it has been forever since I last blogged!
It's been so busy and I just seem to never have time to just sit down and unwind...which is where today's post title comes from: SO MANY BOOKS, so little time!



I started painting my bookshelf Saturday---I found this great half cabinet, half book shelf on craigslist for $80. I didn't like the color and I knew that I would end up painting it and adding new hardware so that the shelf would go with my living room decor, and I just love a good project so I grabbed it up as fast as I could...actually, I had my husband drive to Little Rock and pick the thing up for me, but I contacted the seller :)
Anyhow, the plans are to paint it a tealy-blue, shabby chic style. It will be absolutely adorable when it is all said and done. I need to get it finished quick because I have 3 boxes full of books! Some I have read, some are photo albums/yearbooks, but then there is a section of books that I purchased hoping to read sometime soon.

I LOVE to read! And I wish that I had an entire week where I could just sit down and read book after book after book and put a dent in the stack that I have waiting to be read!

Some titles that I can't wait to crack open and devour are:
  • Still Growing by Kirk Cameron
  • Justification and Regneration by Charles Leiter
  • So Long Insecurity Group Experience Bible Study by Beth Moore
  • Ruth: Gleaning Hope from the MORE Series
  • The New Strong Willed Child by James Dobson
  • Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst
  • The Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman & Campbell
  • Paul by Beth Moore (I started it and have never finished)
  • A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury
Not to mention my long wish list of books that I do not yet own, but would love to!
  • Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge
  • Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman
  • I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother by Allison Pearson
  • Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman
  • Nehemiah: Rebuilding, Revival and Restoration of the People of God by Kay Arthur
  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • Faith Dare by Debbie Alsdorf
  • The Wives of King David by Jill Eileen Smith
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to a Jesus-Shaped Spirituality by Michael Spencer
I am currently reading/studying Pure Emotion by Susan Lawrence. So far it is very good. It is just so difficult to sit down and read these days with so much going on in our lives. I pray that I can work through my list and one day be able to say that I have read these books! Some of them just sound like books that I won't be able to put down!

I wonder if I am the only one that has a stack of unread books and a running wish list of books to read in the future???

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I wonder if this season, fall, autumn, will be a season of catching up on reading for me! :)
I pray that you are blessed immeasurably! Goodnight!

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    A Quick, Quiet Moment

    Ah...a quiet moment at last. Both kids are in bed, the husband is at a softball game and I finally get a few minutes to myself. I've had so much going on lately that I don't even know where to begin. I see that becoming a recurring theme in my life: NOT KNOWING WHERE TO START.

    I believe I said those exact words today when I came home from work and saw the laundry, dishes, stack of papers, etc. And I said it when I walked in my office at work this morning after being out for a week sick with strep throat. Where to begin...a starting point...number 1 on my to-do list...ugh.

    The answer to this question is simple enough and one that I shouldn't even need to ask, because I already know. Where to begin; what is the starting point; what is number 1 on the to-do list?

    GOD.
    COMMUNING WITH HIM.
    TALKING TO HIM.
    CONFIDING IN HIM.
    ASKING HIS ADVICE.
    REQUESTING WISDOM FROM HIM.
    PUTTING HIM FIRST.
    SEEKING HIM IN EVERY SITUATION.



    He is the answer to every single question, problem, issue, etc. And although I know this, it is so easy to forget and be overwhelmed with the everyday life that is thrown at me. I know that is my biggest daily fight. And if I could only get that right, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't worry and stress over my long list of tasks--I would know that He is in control, and I would trust that He will show me which foot to put forward first, in which direction and how fast or slow I should go OR if I should just be still and wait! He answers me through reading His Word mostly---when I am attentive and listening---even when I am not seeking an answer, He gives me direction and teaches me amazing lessons.

    My verse for this past two weeks through SiestaScriptureMemoryTeam is Psalm 63:3 (NIV)

    "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you."


    He directed me to that verse and two things that stood out to me were that HIS LOVE is better than my life will ever be and that for that reason, every word from my lips should be to and for HIS GLORY!

    Being human (and a woman) that can be difficult to do, but I want to make it a point to glorify His Name with my life---my actions and my words. And it all begins with Him- knowing Him and thirsting to know more and more and more!


    I know this was kind of a random post, but thanks for stopping in and reading it. Life's been crazy, but God is in control and when He lays another bit of info for me to share on my heart, I will post again.

    Until then, have a blessed week!!!

     

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Highlights of Nehemiah Chapter 1

    (The following post was written a couple of weeks ago before we moved and lost internet connection. I had planned to review the entire first half of Nehemiah, but for now, here is Chapter 1. I am praying to post again this evening, what I am thinking will be a hodge-podge of information from Nehemiah and also from the Bible study 'Brave' that I have been doing with Women's Bible Study Cafe. Please pray for my next post and enjoy this short (but sweet) one! :)



    I've been reading in Nehemiah on and off for a while now...and I'm just going to tell you, this book, in my past, never would have intrigued me the way it does right now!

    I feel like I am in a "re-building" season in so many ways: my relationship with the Lord, my marriage, at our church, moving, my husband had to rebuild his truck motor, and other important relationships...
    In so many ways, we are changing, re-building, and we run into obstacles almost every step of the way!

    So without further ado...

    I would like to include an excerpt from The Bible Study Page that I found very compelling before I get started into my little tid-bit of notes:

    "Specifically, the book shows how the broken down walls of Jerusalem and the failing faith of the Jews were restored, through the competent leadership of Nehemiah and through the host of Jewish brethren who responded to the divine challenge to rise and build."

    That just really caught my attention:
    Broken Walls & Failing Faith
    RESTORED BY GOD
    Through
    Competent Leadership & Brethren Who Respond, Rise & Build

    Now then, my notes:

    Nehemiah's prayer to God; I love how he begins with praising God for Who He is! And then works into confession, not just for himself, but for the people of Israel.
    In verse 8, Nehemiah prays back God's own promise to Him; that is one of my favorite ways to pray-pray God's promises. I believe He wants us to do this so that He knows that we have been listening to Him and to me, if I pray it back to Him, it helps to confirm it in my own heart, helping me to trust and believe that much more. 
    And I love verse 11:

    "O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant
    and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.
    Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man."

    And that concludes my notes on Nehemiah Chapter 1. Short & Sweet :)

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Aspen's Prayer after Craft Night

    We finally have internet and are making progress in our new place! But on top of moving, life continues to go on...which makes things extremely chaotic for our busy little family!

    Tonight we had a craft night for the kids at church as part of a Back to School Bash to end the summer; and it was so awesome! We had about 6 different craft stations set up for the kids to rotate through and we served pizza rolls as a fun snack. We had about 18 or 19 kids there tonight---All praise and glory be to God!!!!

    On the way home, Aspen asked me if she was going to heaven. I told her that she has to believe in Jesus and live her life for His glory daily; and she asked many questions in reference to that as well, which I did my best to explain to her.( I don't remember our entire AWESOME conversation, but these are just the highlighted points.) She asked if she would see her Nanny in heaven, and also if her friends would go to heaven or hell. I answered, like I said, to the best of my ability (praying the whole time that God would direct my words). She told me that she knew her behavior lately isn't what God wants, and that she doesn't want to act that way anymore. I said that she should reflect Jesus---that she should always try to do what Jesus would have done, or what He would want her to do. I told her that when she feels mad, she should stop and pray, and when she feels sad, stop and pray. Ask God to comfort you, ask Him to help you to not hit your friends or yell at them. Pray that God will lead you to make the good decisions, to love your friends, and obey mommy and daddy.

    She interrupted me.

    "Hold on Mom"

    "I'm going to pray...will you pray with me"

    "Dear God, please help me when I am sad...help me to walk away when I am mad, and to be a better reflecter of Jesus. Amen"



    WOW! I'm sitting here, tearing up, because my 5 year old baby girl really truly prayed tonight!!!
    I believe with all of my heart that she heard me and that she talked directly to our Heavenly Daddy. She is such a blessing to me...and everyday, she teaches me something new. I am so thankful for those moments when God shines through her and shows me a lesson that I should be practicing more---shows me how I should be a "reflecter of Jesus" more than I am.

    After her prayer, I proceeded to tell her just how much God loves her...how He sent His Son Jesus to die on that cross so that our sins would be forgiven. I told her that Jesus loves her even more than mommy and daddy do! She said, "wow, He loves me a bunch!" :)
    It's just an awesome feeling to know that your child is learning to love the Lord and thirst to know more!!!

    So many answered prayers have happened in the last 2 weeks that I am in amazement!

    We serve an AWESOME GOD!

    And although life goes on, stress and worry still looms around every corner, and there is always work to be done, I was so refreshed tonight by my sweet daughter and her beautiful heart for the Lord.
    Her 5 year old actions are not always ideal, pretty, nice, sweet, or lady-like: But God is working through her, and it is my job as her mom to make sure that she continues in this walk as such a young child, so that maybe she will continue when she is all grown up!

    Praise God for each day and each moment that you have to teach and to be taught! I pray that I might teach my children about the Lord in such a way that they hold Him near and dear and number one above everything! Thank You God for Your unfailing faithfulness, mercy and grace!!