20 Random Things I’m Grateful For…

22 Mar

1. My cousin that is still innocent enough to play in the sand

2. Forgiveness received from a gracious God

3. Wisdom that comes from tragedy

4. Answered prayers

5. When the answer is sometimes “NO”

6. Willingness to change

7. The understanding that being victimized and being a victim are two different things

8. Reminders of how far I’ve come

9. The gift of Motherhood

10. The love of my husband

11. Every time my Gramma cries when she tells a stranger how much I mean to her

12. Little girls who still have a natural smile

13. Toes in the sand

14. A roof over my head and food in the cabinets

15. My oldest daughter’s ability to express herself through art

16. My youngest daughter’s passion for music

17. My Pastor, Craig Groeschel and his passion for Jesus and how he challenges us

18. My job and the awesome people I am blessed to work with

19. The unwavering love of a puppy

20. Q-tips

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For The Love Of…

27 Jan

“Do my actions accurately reflect the values I hold in my heart?” This is the question on my mind today. Generally speaking, we have a tendency to live in a “means to an end” kind of mentality. For example:

Everyone wants a great job, so they can make great money, so they can have nice things and have the freedom to spend quality time with their families. Since we want to spend more time with our families, we need to work harder. So, we sacrifice time with our families, so that we can work more, so that we can earn more money, so that eventually we can spend time with my families. Or… We work a lot of overtime because we want a nice house and more fun things for our families, so that when we spend more time with our families, we can have more fun. So, we sacrifice time with our families to acquire all these nice things to enjoy with our families, but inevitably will not be able to enjoy any of it with them, because we will have to continue to work overtime to maintain the new lifestyle that we have worked so hard to get in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but just reading that makes me feel too exhausted to do ANYTHING. I have become aware lately of how the desires of my heart often lead me to do things that prevent me FROM the desires of my heart. The things I do are GOOD things, but they often do not lead me toward my goal.

I want God to show me how to be a better mother, so I make plans to spend time with other mothers, and read books on parenting, and attend bible studies hoping to find the key to great parenting when, the whole time, my two beautiful daughters are sitting… waiting for me, with the key in their hands!

I want more friends, so I neglect the one or two friends that I do have, so that I can spend time on facebook in hopes of meeting people or reconnecting with people I can build friendships with. Once I have 1,000 “friends” on facebook, then I can spend time with one or two of them.

I want to serve my community, so I walk quickly to my car, so that my elderly neighbor doesn’t try to engage me in a conversation, so that I can drive 30 minutes to “serve” downtown at a homeless shelter. After I am done “serving” I can yell across the driveway to my elderly neighbor that I don’t have time to talk, because I have been “serving” at the downtown homeless shelter and need to get a shower.

I have discovered that the key to SUCCESS for me is simply… living simply, working just enough to meet the needs of my family, sometimes saying no to more work, bible studies, facebook friends, and self-serving acts of “service” across town, so that I can say yes to my children, hello to my neighbor, and THANK YOU to my Father in Heaven.

My goal today is to make the values of my heart be evidenced by my actions.

CAN YOU RELATE? Please share some of your experiences.

Daniel Fast…

21 Jan

Today is day 21 of a 21 day Daniel Fast. I began at lunch on the 31st of December, so today at lunch ended the fast. My friend from work decided to do the fast with me. Today for lunch, we had grilled Chicken wraps from Sonic and took food up to her daughter’s school to eat lunch with her. In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy the food and I don’t like the way I feel right now. I don’t think I ate too much, but it’s just so heavy in my stomach.

During this 21 days of fasting, I learned that I have a habit of sabotaging myself from being healthy and regularly try to justify poor choices. Overall, I did well with the fast in terms of food. There were many times that I had to talk myself out of making exceptions. I learned that temptations to indulge the flesh will always exist and that when I am faced with temptation to feed the flesh and not the spirit, I need to stop and think and pray.

I also recognized that I really struggle with meaningful prayer. I desire to have a feeling of joy and excitement for prayer, but I just don’t. I find that I am best able to express my heart’s prayer through writing. When I open my mouth for prayer, it just sounds so fake to me, even when I truly mean the words I say.

My prayer for this next phase is to learn to honor God with my body and how I care for it and to spend more time in prayer through writing to God. I want my life to be a reflection of my passion for God. Another area that I want to improve is the use of cuss words. Granted, I have improved greatly from where I used to be, but I see that I fall back into that too easily. There are certain groups of people or certain situations where I automatically freely cuss… like that is the only way they can relate to me. When I get really angry and overwhelmed, I always toss in a few f-bombs to be sure those I am angry with KNOW that I am angry.

I am not beating myself up, but I accept that I am broken and need my Father to heal the damaged places. I am so grateful for what He has done in my life. Those that knew me before, know the changes that  have occurred in my life. It is only by His grace that I am who I am today.

If you spend time around me and see me fall into overindulgence and cussing, please love me enough to hold me accountable for that. I want my life to reflect the love and mercy of God, not the sin and corruption that I am trying to be free of.

God is Good!

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