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.