Sunday, November 30, 2008

Be Still Sunday


Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

We had a wonderful, quiet Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came in to spend a few days with us. My turkey was moist, everything else was fabulous and I didn't have to clean the kitchen, and I took a very, long nap. What more could I ask for?

With such a wonderful day, how could I feel so lonely? My dad went home to the Lord just over a year ago, and my mom went twelve years ago. My only sibling and I have been estranged for seven years despite my attempts at reconciliation. It has to be in God's time, not mine. It still hurts.

"El Roi", the God who sees me, knows my heart. He knows the deepest desires of our hearts and he knows the pain and longing that we endure. Regardless, He is there for us.

I am so thankful for my family. The love I am surrounded by with my husband and boys, my friends, and my church family. God has me on this journey for a reason.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. leftovers
2. going to the gym (after a two week hiatus)
3. family
4. shopping
5. books

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Isn't that hard? To be joyful always...what about when you have children that are in the teen years? Pray continually...I have trouble dedicating myself to regular quiet time, how can I pray continualy? Give thanks in all circumstances...what if you and a close loved no longer speak to each other?

No matter how angry or frustrated your "teen" makes you, be joyful that you have a child when so many do not.

Prayer is not just sitting in a quiet place and talking to God. You can pray in the car, while washing dishes, watching's about conversation.

How can I give thanks when I am estranged from someone I love? I love that person with my whole heart and pray for them regularly, but when I look back at the different events that have unfolded as a result of the dissolution of that relationship, I have seen God work in my life. I wouldn't be where I am today, physically, geographically or spiritually if I was still in that relationship.

God is good. All the time.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. family coming to town
2. orange juice
3. warm socks
4. Santa Fe
5. turkey to cook

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Prayer to Share

My husband showed me a great prayer this morning. It really touched me and I want to share it with you.

Thomas Merton's Prayer of Abandonment

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone

When doubt creeps in I am going to turn to this prayer.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. homemade rolls
2. my little one's new daycare
3. freshly groomed dogs
4. my warm jacket
5. my loving husband

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Be Still Sunday


Friday, November 21, 2008


I was at lunch the other day with a couple of friends. We were having a nice time, enjoying good food and good company when things started to turn. One of them mentioned a person we know and the two of them went off into "Judgement Land".

Yes, part of me wanted to chime in but I simply continued to eat my lunch and prayed to God, "I don't want to be part of this gossip, Father, help me have the strength to stay quiet." And I did. Somehow or another the topic changed and lunch began to be enjoyable again. I actually "oozed" the light of Christ without even saying a word! When I think back, I wish I would have stopped the conversation, made it a point to let my friends know what they were doing, and have moved on. I'll pray to get the strength to do that when the time presents itself.

I think back on so many times in my life when I've chimed right in with the other gossip mongers. I hate that. I hate that I have often let my words bring down another, even if it was without their knowing. God knew. I knew.

I love the Christian Band Building 429. I especially like where their band name derived from.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 – NIV

Isn't that something we need to remind ourselves of everyday? And what about our children? I cringe when I think about how I often talk to my "tween" son. It's not just what we say, but how we say it that can affect a person.

We need to build each other up. Think about your words. Choose them carefully.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. our pediatrician
2. the courage to get to the dentist
3. a sunny, cold, day
4. getting the house ready for family
5. peanut butter

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Catching Up

I traveled to a conference this past weekend, and I still can't get caught up. It feels as if I have been away for months! My house is a wreck (I have a painter working for a couple of days), clothes to wash, work and email I am still trying to get through and I have not made it back to the gym since last Wednesday.

To top it off, my hubby is still in Denver finishing his final exams and will be home around lunchtime today! No school for him until January! Woo Hoo!

I tend to keep forgetting that family is coming to town next week for Thanksgiving. (Is that really next week)?

The area I have been trying to get back into routine with is in my quiet time with the Lord. Once you get out of routine with just about anything, it takes quite a bit to get back with it.

For all the craziness that is in my life, I am thankful to have craziness to look forward to everyday.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. my hubby coming home
2. the smell of fresh paint
3. long sleeved t-shirts
4. stick horses
5. craziness

Monday, November 17, 2008

Can you believe???

Can you even believe that Christmas commercials are already airing on television? (You know, the commercial with the Hershey Kisses playing We Wish You A Merry Christmas)? Walmart has their trees up, pre-packaged candies, sets of coffee and tea are already lining up the aisles.

Thanksgiving has not arrived.

This is the one thing that makes me crazy about the holiday's. The rush, the commercialism. Blow up Santa's in the front yard, lights hanging outside like the Griswold's. It makes me sad.

How do you keep Jesus as the Reason for the Season with your children? I mean, the world does a pretty good job at pushing it's commercialzied agenda. It just hurts my heart.

I think it hinges on our daily quiet time with the Lord. Today, I've not had my time, but I am going to be sure that before I go to bed, that I spend time with Him. We have to set examples for our children. They need to know what is important and what takes first place in our lives.

I pray that "The Reason for the Season" is evident in our lives, not just over the next several weeks, but everyday of our lives.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. being able to hire a painter to paint a few rooms in my house!
2. leftover chicken
3. moccasins
4. seeing the first snow in Denver
5. a dirty house to clean

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Be Still Sunday


Friday, November 14, 2008

A Wonderful Book

I have just finished reading a fantastic book, The Shack, by William P. Young. It's the story of a man, Mack, who endures a tragedy and God appears to him in different human forms representing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

At the retreat I was recently at, I heard some ladies discussing the book as being too new age. They were a little offended at representations of Christ made by Mr. Young.

I didn't see it that way at all. Actually, it helped me to visualize the different forms God takes in our lives. It changed my perspective and really made me think. I mean we don't know what God physically looks like. We have preconceived notions from our Sunday School teachings, books, parents, etc. on what God may or may not look like.

The bottom line is that I know He lives in my heart. I am glad Mr. Young painted this interesting picture of the Trinity for our day and age. The Father wants us to know him deeply, intimately and if developing a picture in our mind helps to further that relationship, I am all for it.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. the cold weather
2. hotel rooms
3. seeing my colleagues from across the country
4. safe travels
5. my husband loving seminary

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Jones'

In our society it is so hard to not focus on what everyone else has or what everyone else is doing. Being the wife of a minister, I find that I question myself quite a bit. "What if I don't......, What if I decide to not complete this study....., What if, What if."

"Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." John 21:20-21

Perhaps a bible study we are participating in is not where we need to be. Doubt can cloud our mind as to whether or not we are worthy enough or smart enough to be there, but actually, it may not be God's time for us to hear that message.

How do we discern where we need to be? Do we rely on what our neighbor is doing? Do we rely on what the church is "expecting" of us? No. Absolutely not. We must rely on God speaking to us. We need to continue to practice being still to hear His word.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Gabe, my personal trainer, aka the "Workout Nazi"
2. Albondigas (meatball soup)
3. preparing for our annual trip to the NHF meeting
4. plants
5. my husband, pushing me through my low points

Monday, November 10, 2008

Time Away

I was so blessed to be part of the Celebration Womens Prayer Retreat this past weekend. It was held in the Texas Hill Country in Brenham (home of Blue Bell) and the weather was perfect.

It was a time for renewal. A time for being still and focusing on what God wants to do in me. I did struggle at first because I didn't really know anyone but one person very well, but the Lord worked in me and I was there for a few reasons.

I had the chance to minister to two different ladies and I am so glad that God gave me the words to speak to them.

I also had time to be alone. Truly alone with Him. We spent an hour and a half in silence to journal, pray, do what we needed to do. What a blessing that was! I don't know the last time I had that kind of silence! I spent my time in a grove of trees, with the wind gently blowing surrounded by yellow butterfiles. Yes, it was as wonderful as you would imagine.

I also had my beliefs tested. Part of the teaching over the weekend was on Healing Prayer. The presenter was a Methodist deacon who runs a retreat center that focuses its healing through Theophostic Prayer. I'm just not too sure about all of that. I know we are the hands and feet of Christ, but she led us to think that by putting our hands on others who need healing and praying for them, that healing will come.

Yes, I know the Lord works in amazing ways and mircales happen. Cancer is suddenly out of a persons body, arthritis is gone completely, a shoulder beyond repair is healed. But what about someone with a bleeding disorder, or Cerebal Palsy? If I put my hands on them and pray for healing and they are not healed, what does that mean?

At first I thought that maybe my faith was not strong enough to be part of this type of praying, but I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior, so nothing is wrong with my faith!

I believe there are many ways to pray and not one of them is wrong. It's ultimately about your relationship with Christ. I pray that each of you develop and strengthen the bond you have with Him through prayer.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. orange juice
2. a good night's sleep
3. uneventful travel
4. homemade popcorn
5. sweat pants

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Be Still Sunday


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Being Still

I struggle with being still. As the mom of two children (throw in their bleeding diorder of daily infusions), the wife of a minister and full time working woman, and starting to launch my speaking ministry, I guess there is a reason I have trouble being still.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

I have had a great week in getting up earlier than usual and spending time with the Lord (and even folding a load of clothes)! I am excited about my new method of Bible Study, the Inductive Study, and I am super excited about going to a Prayer Retreat this weekend sponsored by Celebration Ministries.

I am at a point in my life where I am hungering to be closer to God. I want everything I do to be for God's glory. I want His calling on my life to speak His word to be deep and intimate. I want to do His work for all the right reasons....for His glorification.

I am excited about being in the midst of women this weekend with the same learn more about be in relationship with Him.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a new winter jacket on my little one
2. hot chocolate
3. the first really cold blast of the season
4. the resources to get on a plane to make the trip to my retreat
5. my sisters in Christ

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Overwhelming Kindness

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the kindness of a friend, or even a stranger? I am in the process of developing my speaking ministry (website, marketing materials, etc.) and a dear friend of mine has been helping me. She is an amazing graphic artist and all around creative gal.

Last night she emailed me to preview my website and told me that she believed in what I was doing in the name of God and it was her donation to my ministry.

I was speechless! First of all, the website turned out just beautiful and secondly, how can someone open their heart to me that way? It's just almost too much to bear.

Sometimes we are so busy giving (being a mom, wife, friend....) that when someone opens their heart up to us it's just overwhelming.

Stepping out in faith is scary, but when you know it is where God is leading you, it is truly an adventure. My friends are God's angels here on earth. I don't know what I would do without them.

Have you reached out to someone lately with extraordinary kindness?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. orange juice
2. stepping out in faith
3. a great dental check up for my boys
4. the election being over!
5. going to breakfast with my hubby

Monday, November 03, 2008

Studying the Word

I am currently in a Beth Moore bible study, Living Beyond Yourself. It started out to be promising, but there is something about Beth's teaching that is not working for me. I feel as if it gets way over my head at times. I may be the only female on the planet that has anything negative to say about Beth Moore, God forgive me, but it's just not working for me.

I am in a room full of women who have studied God's word for many years and I feel very inferior in my knowledge. I know that God does not keep track of who is better versed in scripture than the other, but I want to be in His word so desperately.

I think I found an answer.

I visited Kay Arthur's website for her ministry, Precept Ministries, and was so excited to find what may be my answer.

She has a method of studying the Bible called the Inductive Study. She lays out the steps in attacking each book of the Bible. It's all Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

I started today in prayer and began reading 2 Timothy. I am praying that this method will help me in growing closer to God and to be more versed in the Word.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. my son taking out the trash
2. getting up early enough to start my day with the Lord
3. a restful Sunday
4. the extra hour of sleep
5. my clothes fitting better

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Be Still Sunday


Speakers and Writers


Photo credits ~ Dreamstime

A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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