Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I've Learned From Mom

My Mama passed away Sunday.  I just want to share some things I learned from her.  Some of this may not make sense to you or mean what it means to me, but I want to put it out there so I can always remember these things.

Jesus loves you.  Love Him back.
Your kids come first.  But, your marriage came before the kids - keep it that way.
Being smart is cool enough.
"This too shall pass" really does make sense.
You don't have to be a big person to put the fear of God in your kids (or anyone who messes with them).
Being meek isn't being weak.
There's something good to say about everyone.
"He's got a mama too." (That means that everyone has someone who loves them.)
Sometimes it's ok to Let It Go.
Honor your parents.
Commitment - you follow through with your promises whether it is 6 weeks of saxophone lessons or a 48 year marriage.
Pretty on the outside doesn't mean pretty on the inside.  Pretty on the inside DOES mean pretty on the outside.
Every day that starts with coffee is a better day.
Doing "the puzzles" keeps you sharp.
If you don't say what you want nobody will ever know.
Express your creativity in as many ways as you can.
A clean house isn't as important as a hospitable house.
Gumbo = Love
"All God's children gotta…(do algebra, wash dishes, break up with a jerk, etc.)"
Being a woman is good. Being a wife is a gift. Being a mother is a blessing.  Being a grandmother is better than anything else!
Money doesn't buy happiness.
Read through the Bible. Every word. 
Tell people you love them if you really do. 
Talk!
Dying isn't scary if you know where you're going.



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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

VoxBox #Jadore!

So excited!  I just got my first big Voxbox from Influenster.

Here's what's inside:
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
Hershey's Kisses 
Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray
KISS Looks So Natural Lashes
Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas
Vaseline Men Spray Lotion

This box was full of fun stuff to try out!  The first thing on my to-do list was the eyelashes!  I've always wanted to pull off the false lashes look, but I'm pretty terrible at it.
The glue that comes with these lashes turns green when you apply it, so that makes it a little easier to make sure you've covered the lash.  I'm not sure if it was me or the lashes, but I didn't love this experience!  I kept them on for a little while, but removed them before leaving the house.  They just didn't' feel secure.

Next on my list was the mask.  Oh, how I love a good face mask.
How pretty is that?  I really really really like this mask by Boots Botanicals!  My skin tends to be a little dry in cold weather, so I was worried I'd be flaky.  But I wasn't!
The mask dries quickly and left my face feeling soft.  I love it!

After a relaxing facial I needed a cup of tea!

YES!
I LOVED the Creme Caramel Red Rose Tea!  What a great treat on a cold day!  It was sweet and flavorful without tasting artificial or too sweet.  There was a coupon in the VoxBox for $2.00 off a box of tea AND each tea bag package has a coupon!  Thanks, VoxBox!


Also in the box:





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Thursday, February 27, 2014

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

It's time for the Proverbs 31 OBS blog hop!  It is the last one for the Made to Crave study - bitter sweet!

This week's verse is 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.  You've probably heard it before if you have battled some sort of temptation.
I must admit, I struggled with making this verse my own.  I'm still trivializing the temptations I face with food as "real" temptations sometimes.
How can I compare my food cravings to the cravings of an alcoholic?  or drug addict?  or thief?
Sad thing is, I know that my temptations are as much a distraction from my walk with God as anyone else who struggles with temptation.  We have turned our addictions into idols.

Ew…I don't like saying I have a food addiction!!!

Anyway - on to the verse!


Here's my take: 
I cannot be fooled into thinking I am unwavering (invincible).  I must be aware of my choices so that I don't fall.  I have no excuse: there is no temptation I have ever been faced with that hasn't been faced before.  All of mankind has struggled.  GOD is true, thorough, and trusted.  He WILL NOT allow me to be attracted to something past the point of my ability to handle it.  But, when (not if) I am lured to something, he will supply other options (HE IS MY PORTION) so that I can resist with patience.

I can't let my guard down.
Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.  Satan doesn't give up, so why should I?
God will ALWAYS be my portion.  He will ALWAYS provide a way for me to avoid those things that haunt me.

Want to see what others have to say?  Click that button over there ~~~>

I have SO enjoyed and grown in this study.  Thank you to Lysa TerKeurst and the ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries for this study.  Thank you to the other ladies (and a few men) who have stuck it out and done this with me.  It has been eye opening and #empowering!

The next OBS will be the Action Plan that goes along with Made to Crave!  Very excited to start that soon.  If you have never participated in an online Bible study, I encourage you to join one soon! It has helped me with the discipline of daily time of prayer, Bible reading, and journaling…not to mention the self discipline with my health!

If you are wondering - I have lost 7.5 lbs during this 6-week study.  I am THRILLED that the number on the scale is going down.  But, I'm even more thrilled that another area of my life has been enveloped by my "spiritual" life.  My desire is that my entire life will be my spiritual life!


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Veruca Salt of Prayer

Yes.  I am he Veruca Salt of prayer.  I want it and I want it NOW!



I can honestly say that I depend on God to provide for me in the long-term.  Time after time, I have witnessed His mercy in my life as He makes everything OK.
However, I forget that He is providing for me daily as He prepares me for the long-term.
I want it and I want it NOW!

In Exodus, God provides manna for the Israelites.  He gives them just enough to make it through each day.  As I read about how greedy some of them were, I cannot believe they would act that way after He has just delivered them from slavery in Egypt through all sorts of miracles!  Why wouldn't they just trust him???

Um…I'm just like them.  Oopsies.

How can my soul be satisfied when I don't have what I want?  Last time I checked, there is no manna falling from the sky!!!

He is still our manna.  He continues to be my daily portion of manna as He prepares my Israel.

My daily manna is peace in knowing He has a better plan that I do.

My daily manna is patience as His plan unfolds before me.

My daily manna is the self-control He provides so that I am able to continue in His will.

My daily manna is the love I am privileged to share with others because of He who lives in me.

My daily manna is the joy I experience every day even when I don't have what I want (but I have what I need).

My daily manna is the kindness I express to others even when I don't feel like being kind.

My daily manna is the goodness that comes out of my life - in spite of all the "badness".

My daily manna is the faithfulness that allows me to know that there is a source of all of this manna that I need every moment of every day.

My manna is the gentleness that I use in dealing with others who need manna too - and dealing with my own weaknesses.

Even when I have an "I want an oompa-loompa and I want it NOW" moment, I can find my daily portion with God's promises.  He is giving me just what I need for each day.  I just need to stop stomping my foot and ask for my daily portion.


So, here is my prayer: Daddy, I do want it all!  You know all of my heart's desires.  Whether I get exactly what I want or something completely different, I trust in Your will for my life.  Please be my daily portion.  Protect me from an attitude of greed and self-importance.  I know You love me and You want the best for me.  Amen.

Want to see what others have to say on this topic? ~~~> Visit the Blog Hop by hitting that P31 Button!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Obligatory Valentine Post - The Heart

What kind of blogger would I be without writing the obligatory Valentine's Day post.

It would be easier to just link back to past posts about Valentine decor, gifts and crafts.
Or I could link back to posts about love and marriage.
And then I could link back to posts about how much God loves each of us.

Or, I could talk about the love/hate relationship that most of us have with Valentine's Day, Single Awareness Day, or Hallmark and Florists Make Money Day.
I love love!  So, the idea of celebrating love is very exciting to me!  However, when I've been (not happily) single it's been miserable.  And now that Im married to my forever Valentine, it's still a holiday with way too much pressure.  I love him; he loves me; we should show each other daily.

Anyway - hearts abound on this day!  The cutesy hearts that are plastered on EVERYTHING are the pretty version of the crucial organ that is buried in each chest.



Sometimes that crucial organ - the muscle that control the life-blood - can fail.

That's the case with my Mom.

She's been an insulin dependent diabetic for 36 years.  As with most diabetics, her heart has failed.  On top of the diabetes, there is a strong history of heart disease on both sides of her family.

She has been in stage 4 congestive heart failure for a few years.  Her cardiologist referred her to hospice care a few years back.  But, Mom is like a Timex watch - she takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!  She was released from hospice care last May.

Well, Mom has been back in the hospital for the last week.  Her health is again declining.  She will be released to hospice care when she leaves the hospital this time.

According to the American Heart Association, February is National Heart Month!  Makes sense, doesn't it?  According to a the CDC, as of 2010, heart disease is the #1 killer of women with 23.5% of all deaths reported being attributed to heart disease.

This is so scary to me.  Think about all of the women you know and love.  What if almost 1/4 of them have heart disease and don't know it?

It is so important for both women and men to be educated in preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart disease.  Our diets, habits, and activity level all effect the health of our hearts.  The AHA strives to educate and we can help them.

Donate  here to help them prevent heart disease on the future!  You can donate in memory of or in honor of anyone.  I donated in my Mom's name today and they will send her a card with my own personal Valentine's message.

And it isn't too late for somebody to get a card from you today!  You can design your own e-card.  Send someone you love a special Valentine today!




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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Unpacking 2 Corinthians

God's love is enough for me.  His authority exactly fits my needs at exactly the right time for an exact purpose when I lack strength.

How do I know this?  Because I read 2 Corinthians 12:9 over and over.  I meditated on it, I looked up words in the dictionary, and I let it speak to my exact needs.  

I am weak. He is strong.

I am far from perfect. He is complete.

I fail. He is perfect.


No matter my struggles, He will provide.  When there is not way to succeed - He steps in and saves the day!

Yeah for an absolutely perfect Provider!

See what others have to say about this verse.  Click the P31 Online Bible Study button over there ~~~>

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#Truth

What is #Truth?
Truth, to me is the honest to goodness fact of the matter!  God's Word.  Through the first 11 Chapters of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study, and my own reflection and prayer, God has revealed many #truths to me.  While these may not apply to you, they speak volumes to me.

In case they do speak to you, I'm going to share!

#Truths I've learned so far:


  • Scripture is my truth. I need more truth!
  • My weight is a direct reflection of my choices and my state of health.  And I am ashamed of my choices and state of health.
  • Truth is power.  The more saturated I am with the truth, the more powerful I am to resist temptations.
  • My "thing" with void is more about indulgence than filling an emptiness.  Feeling indulgent makes me feel important.
  • My key: SELF-CONTOL in ALL areas of my life.
  • Craving is a prompt to pray.
  • I can, in fact, follow a plan.  They become habits and I am good at habits.
  • I don't want to need accountability, but I do need it.
  • My best eating plan: clean eating (a diabetic diet so I don't become diabetic).
  • There is nothing in this world that is worth losing the love of God!
  • I feel empowered when I focus on my true identity in Christ.
  • There's a deeper purpose behind our disciplined commitment - it's about embracing a chance for deep and wonderful connections with God.
  • We are made for the same hope and power that raised Christ from the dead!
  • I really really enjoyed food - all of it.  But not just bad for me food.  I think the bad foods have made me feel indulgent and even a little rebellious.  AHA moment!
  • I'm never truly satisfied by food!  My only peace comes when I am aligned with Jesus!
  • I need to eat foods that fuel my body and keep it running well.  then I need to use that fuel to satisfy He who lives in me.  And because He lives in my heart, I will have a satisfied heart!
  • 2 Peter 1:3 Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

  • It's so important to fill our hearts and minds with God's words and vital to make His truth the foundation not only for our identity but how we deal with food. 
  • God wants to be in communication with us.
  • Dissatisfaction gives Satan just enough room to move in with his lie that strips me of motivation: "your body is never going to look the way you want it to look, so why sacrifice so much?"
  • GOD CAN CHANGE ME
  • I can actually become one of those folks who has self-control when it comes to food and exercise.  And I want to.  In fact, I know I can!  And those people are probably healthier and more fulfilled that those "naturally skinny" people.  The prospect of being one of them is thrilling!
  • I have to establish new habits…and I am!
  • Control over my thoughts and actions doesn't belong to food.
  • I don't think I'm necessarily looking for comfort in food.  But, when I'm feeling upset or stressed, I don't want to use the brain power it takes to make the best choice.  I want the control of eating whatever I want and just not thinking about it.
So, that's it so far! :)

See what everyone else is saying about Truth on the P31 Blog Hop!  ~~~>


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Thursday, February 06, 2014

How I Define Myself

How do you define yourself?  Are you somebody's wife?  Somebody's mother?  Your profession?  Your flaws?
In the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study, I've had to reflect on my identity while reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. 

How do I identify myself?
Well, I'm Ken's wife, Jennifer, Amber, and Whitney's step-mom, Bob and Karen's daughter, a former teacher, etc.

How do I define myself?
Sadly, my initial answer isn't so great.  It isn't good for me and it isn't a good example for anyone else.


Yup.  It's true.  That's how I sometimes see myself.  As I read that, knowing that others will see it, I feel even more insecure.  I'm embarrassed that I think these things.  I'm embarrassed that I would be so hard on myself.  I'm embarrassed because I'm sure this isn't how everyone else sees me.

I'm mostly embarrassed because this is NOT how God made me!  
After reading and reflecting and praying, here is how I want to define myself:



Yes!  I am beautiful!  Because God says so!

However, that isn't even how I want to be defined.  Not outer beauty, anyway.

I want to be defined as a woman after God's own heart.  A woman who has so much self-control that she cannot be called anything but obedient to him.  A woman who is so full of love for her Lord that she follows His desires for her life and not her own fleshly cravings.

How can I do this?
Well, I've got to make a habit of it.  Reading the Word and understanding how He sees me, how He created me, and what He wants from me, helps me know Him more.

By understanding the Creator I can understand the creation.

Let that sink in for just a minute - I need to!  I want to know Him so well and be so in-tune with his heart that I can see His will and His purpose in my life.
I am 100% sure His purpose for me isn't eating, fretting over my weight, dieting, and being disappointed.  There is so much more.  I WAS MADE FOR MORE!

I've got to practice better health habits - eating right and getting exercise. The more I take care of my body, the more I appreciate it - flaws and all!  He did not make this body just to be thin!  He made this body for His great works!  I WAS MADE FOR MORE!

That is OBEDIENCE!  Knowing him and loving Him by being the best you can be FOR HIM!



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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Not Sorry for My Beliefs

I've been timid to stand firm for my beliefs for a long time.  I have friends with differing beliefs and I want to be respectful of them.  However, I have started valuing their approval more than I value my own convictions.

And I'm ready to stop.

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please the people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Before I begin - to those of you with differing views of religion, politics, morals, etc.  I still respect you.    I appreciate diversity. I value our differences because you challenge me to grow and to reflect on my own beliefs.  I love you because God made you in His image and He loves you (whether you believe it or not).
I also ask that you respect me and understand that my beliefs do not equate to judgment.


I know that there are people who claim the label of Christian out there who have been hurtful, crude, and bigoted.  I know that there are people who claim to love the Lord who have been hateful, malicious, and harmful.  I will not apologize for them because they do not represent me.  They do not define my Christianity.

My Christianity compels me to love.  Christ compels me to share His grace and mercy.  The Holy Spirit gives me kindness, gentleness, patience, and peace.  God calls me to accept ALL people as His children who He loves and longs to bring closer to Him…because we ALL have flaws that He can overcome.

Am I saying that I find every lifestyle, every sin, or every choice acceptable ?  NO!

What I am saying is that each one of us has flaws in our lifestyle - we sin - we make bad choices.  My job is to see the PERSON and not only the choices.

Am I saying that I should not see a sin as a sin or disagree with another person's choices?  NO!

Isaiah 7:9b says "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand firm at all."
I am do not apologize for my faith.
I am telling you that my beliefs are CONVICTIONS.
I am convicted that sin and corruption are more in-your-face than ever before.  The more media I expose myself to, the more I understand that Satan is alive and well in our country.  I am convicted that our children need to be protected from some of these things.

I am convicted that it is time for Christians to stop being extreme in 2 different directions.
Christians, stop being hateful and judgmental of people you don't even know!
Christians, stop being too accepting of everything you see!

Non-Christians, please stop telling us that we are wrong and closed-minded.  In doing this, you are treating us with the same oppression we are accused of!  Do not tell us that we are silly or stupid or naive.  That is just as hateful as the things you've heard from some on "this side" of the fence.  Stop treating me like I haven't been enlightened or that I don't have a thought for myself.

I'm tired of feeling like I have to apologize for my believes. I do not apologize!!!  I am not sorry!!!

Here is what I know:

  • God is real - as are Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  • We were created by a loving God in His image.
  • He sent His only Son to die for each of us - not just some of us - because we all need it.
  • The Bible was inspired by Him and is just as relevant today as it was when it was written.
  • The Holy Spirit still works in us
  • I believe in Heaven and Hell and that God is the judge

I do not have all the answers about what is right and who is wrong.  I am sure of this - God is love.  God lives in me.  God's love needs to be what comes out of me.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

1 Peter 5:7-8

1 Peter 5:7-8 says "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert."
I've read this verse before.  In fact, I've read it over and over when I was feeling anxious.  But, I don't know that I've ever tried to take it deeper than the words that are written.  What does it mean to me?

I took some time with this one!   The very first word, cast, gave me a lot of insight.  That doesn't simply mean give.  I means to hurl - throw it away from you towards God.  LOSE it!  Lose that anxiety!
And not just some of it - give it all away!
The definition of anxiety says it is caused by fear.  And 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God does not give us a spirit of fear.  That anxiety was never meant to be ours in the first place!
Why do we need to give him our fear?  Because he cares about us!  He loves us and has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Once we give our anxieties to him, we are off the hook, right?  Nope!  he wants us to do our part - to work for it with his help.  It won't be easy, but we can do it without fear and doubt.

So, if I were to re-write 1 Peter 5:7-8, it would look like this:
Lose my fear and doubt to God, throw it at Him!  He's got this!  He loves me and has better plans for me than I can make for myself.  But I'm not off the hook.  I must focus on the goal and make good choices. I need to stay aware of fear and doubt when they try to creep back.  
How do you see these verses working in your own life?

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