Friday, February 28, 2014

Seven Blessings

Received a special blessing of kindness today.

The day drew near the end and a customer informed us that one of the cars in the employee parking lot had a flat tire.  Yes, it was mine.  

I was a little downtrodden about this news as I just got two new front tires 24 days ago.  These three young customers came out with me to inspect my tire. Blessing number one, it was not one of my new ones!

These three young men volunteered to remove my tire and take it to the only place in this small town who might repair it if they could.  The auto shop removed the metal lodged in it and repaired it for $20. Blessing number two, three, and four.

These gracious men came for my check to pay the establishment, and then returned to put my repaired tire back on my car.  Blessing number five and six.

They refused to take any money for helping me.  They all said, "it's okay.  We got paid already today."  Blessing number seven.

I work in a small town with a lot of mean-spirited people, so my heart was touched by what these three did for me.

Thank you Jesus, and may we all seek to show kindness toward those around us.  It may seem small to us, but huge to them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pray For the Little Things

Wanted to share some encouraging words for those out there that might wonder how much the Lord cares about those things in our lives that others may think foolish. Sometimes we don't bring certain things to the Lord in prayer, because frankly, we doubt whether He really cares about it like we do.  

Recently my 8 year old daughter's Christmas kitten disappeared.  Living on a busy farm road, I was sure that either the coyotes or a car got her.  My little one sobbed and asked everyone to pray for Gracie's return. A sweet saint asked our church Body during prayer request time to pray for her return. My mommy heart warmed all over by this gesture.

Before putting my daughter to bed that night, she once again asked the Lord to bring Gracie home. I appreciated her taking this desire to the Lord, but doubted He was going to answer her the way that would make her happy.  I had experienced the loss of quite a few kittens and cats in my lifetime, and rarely saw them disappear and ever come home again.  

The next morning as I pondered the cry of my daughter's heart, I talked to my Heavenly Father about it. I expressed my complete belief that He could bring Gracie home but wondered if He wanted to answer this particular prayer.  I told Him that I was concerned about how a "no" to this prayer would affect my little one's tender faith but that I trusted Him no matter how it turned out.

As I ventured out the door that morning to head to work, much to my surprise Gracie was home safe and sound. I grabbed that sweet kitten, ran to my daughter's room, to wake her up to her answered prayer.  When I got home from work that day, despite the cold winter temperatures, I found my daughter cuddling both cats on the porch and beaming from ear to ear!

My daughter's faith reminded me that I needed to seek my Heavenly Father over what seems minute to others but matters to me.  I suddenly realized this whole event not only taught my daughter she could take her hurts to the Lord, but it reminded me to do the same.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Inside of a Barn

My husband is a fan of touches of make-up.  He says, "There is nothing wrong with putting a little paint on the barn."

I've never been one of those kind of girls with the make-up.  I really don't know the reason either.  Just didn't spend that much time fussing with my face when it took forever for me to get my thick curly hair to do what I wanted it to do.

I've recently started putting the time into putting on make-up.  A friend helped me find some products that make application quite simple.  So, out of love for my sweet hubby, I paint my barn each day.

It got me thinking though about how I see so many women coming and going in my line of work, and how many of them paint the barn quite lovely.  However, the way they treat people stinks to high heaven. It then dawned on me.  You know it doesn't actually matter what the barn looks like if its only storing manure.

I will continue to put on the make-up, but I want to always concentrate on what I store inside.  When pushed hard, I want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control to pour our out my thoughts, words, and actions.

How about you?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beyond the Beyond

There is a moment in time when our lives take a turn, and they are changed forever.  We don't plan that moment, it just comes.  Mordecai said to Queen Esher that she had no idea whether she had been born for just this moment.  She indeed had been placed in that time and place because of the impact she would have on the lives on God's people at that time.

In the early part of the Fall of 2013, not even one short year ago, that moment came for me.  I held a hummingbird, and in those moments the Lord began teaching me what it meant to Trust, Rest, and Fly Free with Him.  Two days later, my youngest son almost successfully took his life, and as I drove to see him at the hospital, the Lord gave me this life changing phrase.

A dream has been sparked in my heart from this moment, and the Lord is about to do something new and beyond whatever I could ever ask or think possible.  I can dream pretty big, but indeed this is beyond me and to Him be the glory!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beyond Ourselves

When left on our own, our flesh naturally takes to unhealthy and destructive paths.  This particular journey normally includes looking to other humans for our worth and value. We might even be people who vomit all over others and rely on them to clean up our messes.  If they don't, we may choose to lash out at them and buy into the lie that we must remain the way we are in those horrible moments.

On the other hand, we can decide to take a step back and take a good honest look at ourselves. Despite all our wrong choices and decisions, Jesus sees the truth about us.  He wants us to see and know Him.  When we do, we can grasp the reality that He is the One who empowers us to go beyond our flesh and become much more than we can ever believe possible.

The only one we want to ever determine our value and worth is the One who created us.  We don't ever have to prove our worth to Him.  The Lord said He valued us so much and proved it when He willingly stretched His arms out and was crucified for our sins. When we look to Him only for our worth, we truly see our value.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A New Crown

I hung up my crown several years ago.  It took quite a long time for me to recognize it on my head.  Once I did, it weighed me down, and I knew it had to go.  I actively pursued not only its removal, but the assurance that I would never wear that particular crown again.

I took off the crown that all drama queens wear and picked up a different crown.  This one came decorated with grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.  This crown never leaves me with feelings of shame but with the truth of being valued by the King of Kings.

Now I'm seeking my King's grace and mercy, but especially His patience and kindness in dealing with the drama queens I work with all week long.  It's clear to me now on the way I must have driven those around me crazy when I got into "my mood".  My insecurity certainly blared loud and clear during these episodes.

I don't miss the first crown I wore, but love my new one.  Thankful for the reminder today of God's emotional healing in my life in this area!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Real Living

I grew up in the church, but I never saw Jesus.  I attended Sunday School ever since I could remember, but I didn't see the reality of the lessons lived out in those who taught me.  I listened to multiple sermons, but never once heard the gospel of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I often times hungered to know what the verse meant, but felt empty when I left church each week.

One day, in the fall of my sophomore year of high school, a crusade came to our town.  The nights I attended, I heard that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  The last night of the crusade, something new rang in my heart and I understood for the first time that the offer to receive the free gift of salvation and a hope beyond what this life had to offer was for me.  A little apprehensively, I approached the altar and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and give me a reason to live. He did.

I instantly found myself surrounded by all these people who actually took living for Jesus seriously.  They had committed their entire lives to living for Him.  I feasted on what they taught me, because for the first time in my life I witnessed Jesus in skin in the new church I began to attend. These wonderful folks nurtured me in my new faith.

I needed that early upbringing in my faith to endure the difficult challenges the Lord would bring into my life when my husband entered full-time ministry.  My life is blessed with those who continue to faithfully show me Jesus in skin in the good, bad, and ugly of life.

This picture I found on the internet says it all!