WAKING UP WITH A THANKFUL HEART

29 Oct

blog - Psalm 138=917-19

How do you wake up in the morning?  Does it sound like this?

  • I wish I could sleep a little longer.
  • Oh no it’s Monday.
  • I don’t want to go to work.
  • I don’t like school.
  • I dislike driving in that traffic.
  • I wish it were Friday.
  • This house is a mess.
  • I need coffee NOW.
  • I am so tired.
  • I don’t have anything to wear.

Or does it sound like this?

  • Thank You Lord for this new day.
  • Thank You Lord for a good night’s rest.
  • Thank You Lord for my job.
  • Thank You Lord I am able to drive in traffic.
  • Thank You Lord for a messy house with a roof over my head,  and children to mess it up.
  • Thank You Lord I can afford coffee.
  • Thank You Lord for giving me a brain that can learn in school.
  • Thank You Lord for that full closet of clothes.
  • Thank You for TODAY, this moment.
  • Thank You Lord for beautiful sunrises, a crisp Autumn day, sun shining on my face, a cool swim and all things you created.

I woke up this morning excited to get breakfast done, delve into my Bible studies with a cup of coffee with one of my favorite creamers – pumpkin spice, and prepare to go to school to work with special needs children. I look forward to what one little thing I get to teach them when I get to sub that class, actually I do in any class I walk in.

As I was preparing for bed last night after I had started this post, I thought to myself how blessed are we to have showers, to have comfortable beds, and awesome food to eat and we take every little thing even like water for granted, and we complain because we are tired.  As we drove out-of-town to go to visit a family who had just lost their husband and dad my thoughts were how we take each other for granted and how things and seasons can change in an instant.  As we drove and I saw places along the way that barely had a roof, I had to thank God for who He is and for all He has blessed me with.

Blog - Psalm 11828

How would you describe your mornings?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Participating in Kate Matoung’s 31-Day October Writing Challenge.

 

 

DARE To Put Down Those Electronics – Five Minute Friday

28 Oct

Blog-Psalm 53

I dare you to put down your smartphones, your ipads, your laptops, your television changers or whatever is keeping you from enjoying moments with your family.  How long has it been since you spent some quality meal time?  Why is it we can’t take 30 minutes or an hour to show we care about someone?

Do you ever see others walking with their cellphones and reading or texting while driving?  Why? Why? Why?  I have a friend who ran into a car while walking and checking her smart phone.  I have another that had a wreck while texting and our painter lost a sister who was texting and driving.  What is so important that we can’t wait a couple of minutes or even pull over if we think it is?

What are we teaching our children and grandchildren with all that scrolling, reading, texting, ?  Why even my mother-in-law is checking Facebook now when we are out to eat.  WHY because smart phone time should NEVER be part of family time unless it is an occasional emergency.  Smart phone time is neglect time.  Smart phone time hurts marriages and hurts children.  I’ve seen a mother at a park on her cellphone – actually more than one – with a child on the swing shouting push me mommy, push me mommy.  I love my computer, I love my Bible Studies, I love Facebook, I love researching my family tree, but when my grandson is here I put it down for the day unless he is napping.

Smart phones can also put space between you and God.  Really, do you go to God in the morning or to that phone.  Do you check Facebook to see who liked your posts or Instagram to see who liked your pictures,  or do you spend time in prayer and study?

Smart phones put a wedge between us and what is important – the most important things in life – God and  family.

I DARE you to be polite, be involved, be committed, be thoughtful and put down your electronics.  Try turning them off during your next meal or leave them in another room.  Put them down when you are at a park, leave them in your pockets or purses when you are at a school function or sport with your kids.  Look your family in the eyes and really listen.  Watch them and be blessed by what they are doing.  Try not picking them up in the morning until your breakfast is finished and your prayer and study time completed unless you them to do your Bible study.

Participating in Kate Matoung’s 31 Day Challenge – DARE

Adjust One Moment At A Time

27 Oct

Blog-serenity prayer

Life is full of adjustments and change.  What’s that old saying about rolling with the punches?  I’ve learned the older I get the more adjustments there are, and if we don’t learn how to accept them and all the changes in life with grace it is hard to go through life.

Adjustments just getting married and how we are opposite.  Think about it.  Did you both like the same toothpaste?  Are you both early risers are do you stay up late?  Then there are adjustments with new babies, teenagers, divorce, sickness, changes in jobs, relocations, new neighbors, new schools, new teachers, new churches.  Do you see where I’m going?  And then our parents get older and may come to live with us or end up in assisted living or nursing homes and then we lose them and they meant in our lives.  How about work and constant change, constant learning?  Just about the time we get a new policy down, there is a new change and it may or may not be for the better.

I’ve learned though that whatever comes my way to accept it knowing that I can adjust as long as I trust in God and His ultimate plan.  We have to learn to adapt.  How do we do that?

Some of the steps I have learned:

Don’t fight it.  That is the biggest thing with our jobs.  We can fight it or accept it.  If something is flowing down from Headquarters you might as well accept it and respect authority.  You might not like it, but focus on the change whatever it may be and move on.  Life at home or work may never be the same but you have to move on and not quit.

Take it a step at a time.  I say that because I know sometimes it is a moment at a time when devastating things hit our lives.  Live in the now – not worrying about the future or thinking about the past.  This day is what is important.  Ever heard that song “One Day At A Time Lord Jesus”?

Pray.  If you don’t know how to pray, say the serenity prayer.

Blog-Proverbs 35-6a

Trust.

Change your attitude from negative to positive.

Participating in Kate Motaung‘s 31 Day Challenge.

FREE Fall Printables

27 Oct

I am participating in Kate Motaung – 31 Days of 5-Minute Challenge and today’s word is free.  So how about some free Fall printables.  These are free this week.  I also posted more printables last week here.

Printables Halloweeen2 Printables Fall 3

GET A LIFE

26 Oct

Blog - Colossians 33-4

I am participating in the Kate Matoung 31 day 5 minute challenge and yes I am running behind.  Life’s challenges with school, a friend in the hospital losing their battle for life and just so many things has kept me from having the time I love to write.

Have you ever heard someone say “get a life”!  What does that mean?

Wickipedia says that it is intended as a taunt, to indicate the person being addressed is devoting an inordinate amount of time to trivial or hopeless matters, and also that it is generally a more emphatic variant of the taunt “get a job and implies the addressee needs to go out and make their way in the world, without being supported by outside sources such as parents, and it may be directed at someone who is perceived as boring or single-minded; suggesting they acquire some other, more practical interests or  hobbies and get dates or find a job. It can also be applied to workaholics or to people meddling in the affairs of others.

What does “get a life” mean to me?  To me it is a daily process.  It is built by prayer, Bible study, sacrifice, humbling ourselves to others and hard work.  It is moment by moment trusting God and serving others.

Live in the present – not the past – not the future.   Is your head spinning thinking about tomorrow, worrying about what tomorrow will bring, worrying about something so simple as a to-do list ?  Really, it is time we STOP and live in this moment.  Spend some real time with your family and friends.  Put down the cell phones, get off of facebook, pinterest, instagram, put down the remotes, stop working so hard,  and really spend time.  How often do you go out to dinner or even sit down for a meal at home and that phone is right there beside you?  It’s time to savor the time, it’s time to care, it’s time to listen, it’s time to love.

Did Jesus die so that we could act this way?  Did He die so that we would ignore His command to love others as He loved us?  Take some time today to commit to loving others and really listening to what is on their hearts.

GET A LIFE!

Blog-1 John 512

 

UP, UP AND AWAY – REAL LIFE DREAMS RETREAT

25 Oct

We are half-way through our 31-day challenge with Kate Matoung, and some that are up to date are just a little over halfway so our word for day 14 was away.

Last month I took a long trip to North Carolina to join up with friends I only knew on Facebook through my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study to the Real Life Dreams Retreat.  I am a volunteer team leader and was joining over 200 women from all over the United States, and a few outside the U.S..  I was a little bit afraid feeling a little bit heavy, a little bit shy, and sometimes it is hard for me to meet people because I tend to be a little more quiet until I get to know people.

Day 1 – I left a day early before the retreat to meet up with some friends in Charlotte, North Carolina so that we would have some time to visit the Proverbs 31 office and some of the staff and also to visit the Billy Graham Library there.   I jumped on the airplane in Dallas and away I went arriving that afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina.   I got there before lunch and two of my on-line friends, Mary and Linda pulled up to the airport and whisked me away to the P31 office.  WOOHOO!  It was like we had always known each other even though I had only met one before from here in Texas, little Shelly.

NC2

We left there to have lunch at a nearby Chick- Fil- A and guess who we met going in the door – Melissa Taylor and her staff AGAIN.  Melissa invited us to join them.  It only took a second to say YES please.  It was absolutely thrilling to get to eat with those Jesus girls, and we found that they are just like us with the same mommy issues and just down to earth.

We left there and headed to the Billy Graham Library which was a humbling experience.   Loved it so much and everything was beautifully laid out and we learned so much about Mr. Graham.  NC16

We headed back to the hotel for me to meet up with my roommate for the night, another Debbie later going to try some North Carolina BBQ.  Yep it was as good as Texas BBQ, and I had never been to a sit-down BBQ restaurant.

NC15

Just the 4 of us! Sonny’s BBQ.

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My roommate for Thursday and Sunday, Debbie. Two Debbie’s and a New York license plate in North Carolina.

I loved my roommate for the evening and we left the next morning for The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina for two nights and two days and I would be spending it with another roommate, Mary and yep I was afraid again.   Easy smeasy and a new life-long friend who was amazing.

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My roommate for Friday and Saturday – sweet, considerate and loving.

NC14

Entrance to The Cove

NC12

Every single meal – breakfast through dinner – scrumptious. This one was salmon and there were other choices but could not resist this one.

 

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Gut-wrenching messages.

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Awesome worship songs led by Erin Maynor!

 

 

NC6

Late-night pajama party!

 

NC10

Nature walks with awesome people – Amanda and Mary.

NC9

Late-night bonfires with everyone gathered around.

 

and just times to sit and visit and rock and take in the beauty of the place.NC13

 

NC7

Rocking and texting!!!!

Did I say I was never shy, never quiet during this trip?  Every single one of these ladies are a a gift from God.  Here are just a few of our leaders NC4

We left Asheville on Sunday noon and headed back to Charlotte where we visited Elevation Church and heard Pastor Steven Furtick and met up with another of our sisters.  What a powerful message!  And what fun having dinner together and then coffee afterwards.

NC5

I cannot wait to get away with these women, and so many others that could not attend this year, next year.  Real Life dreams AWAY from it all!

Fall Free Lunchbox Printables

21 Oct

Here are a few printables to put in your child’s lunch box or sack the week of Halloween or just for the month of October.  ENJOY!

 

printables halloween

At Peace in the Storm – Book Review

20 Oct

OVERVIEW: Bestselling author Ken Gire weaves together stories from the Bible, history, and his own life to reveal how we can find strength and encouragement through the storms of life. Experience the joy of knowing the God who is always there to reach out a hand and pull you out of the waves. (From the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: Ken Gire (ThM.Dallas Theological Seminary) is the author of twenty-four books, including the bestselling Moments With The Savior Series and Windows of the Soul. He has won two ECPA Gold Medallion Awards, and two of his titles were selected as C.S. Lewis Honor Books. Ken teaches weekend seminars on writing throughout the country.

MY REVIEW: I really enjoyed this book by Ken Gire. Chapter after chapter he gives us wisdom on how we can find strength and encouragement walking through the storms of life. With the exception of a couple of the chapters I was so engrossed with this book. A couple of them seemed slow when he was talking about other books. But I do recommend it, and will keep it handy for reference. I underlined so much of it as I read through.

This book delivers exactly what the title promises and how to’s. It is a light read. Ken uses many, many beautiful verses, quotes and stories throughout.

Thirteen chapters and just look at the titles that guide us to peace from beginning to end:

Peace through Perspective
Peace through Prayer
Peace in the Hospitable Art of Listening
Peace through Friends and Strangers
Peace from God’s Word
Peace in and through Music
Peace through Deep Rest
Peace through the Body of Christ
Peace from a Balanced Brain
Peace from Insightful Books and Movies
Peace Through Serving Others
Peace in God’s Creation
Peace through Recreation

He offers us so many ways that we can find peace.

Whether you are going through a trial right now or just gotten through one, I highly recommend you pick up this book.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of writing a review, but the views expressed are my own.

Work – Are You Working Heartily???

18 Oct

I have been participating in Kate Matoung’s 31 Day October blogging challenge, and it’s been a challenge.  Can I say I am behind, but God knows our hearts, and I know I will have the time to write when the time is right?

Blog-Colossians 323

I love that verse because it reminds me why I do all I do and how I should do it and for whom.

Whatever you do.  Whatever I am doing no matter what the task might me, no matter who I am visiting with, no matter where I am, no matter how frustrated I become, this verse says whatever I am doing.  That means all, that means every single thing, every moment.

Work heartily. Whatever I do, I need to work heartily in my home, on my job, at school, at my church.  I should be doing all I do with enthusiasm.  Do you always tackle things around the house, those menial things – the laundry, the dishes, yard work, cooking, mopping, buying groceries, changing poo poo diapers, packing lunches, chasing toddlers heartily?  How about your marriage – are you working at it heartily?  And then there are those to-do lists?  It is so easy to get caught up in doing and not who we are doing it for?

As for the Lord and not for men.  All that we do should be for the Lord – not for men, not for ourselves.  All that we do should not be for rewards, admiration, approval, compliments or praise by men, but for the Lord.  Are we doing things with a joyful heart or a selfish heart?  Are you enjoying the work your hands are doing?

 The Lord’s inheritance is your reward.  Our inheritance from the Lord is our reward – not those raises, promotions, or thank yous.

We have no higher calling than the work that God has called us to do in every season of our lives.  Yes it  changes.  Believe me!  We have seasons of singleness, seasons of college, seasons of marriage, seasons of toddlers and teenagers, seasons of taking care of parents, seasons of work, seasons of retirement, seasons of illness, and seasons where we may be widows or widowers.  Whatever season we are in we need to bend down our knees with outstretched hands and go through them as unto the Lord. Do you outstretch those hands because of what others think or see ?  Do you outstretch them because of whose you are? Remember that God, the Father sees all we do. He is the only one we need to please.

LORD, today may all we do be done heartily.  May we offer it all up to You!

blog-heartily

 

 

REST

16 Oct

Blog-Psalm 621-2

Today I am feeling a little bit down and worn out – perhaps a little virus, perhaps too much rich food and spices but regardless for about a week now my tummy has been nauseous, my head feels like it is going to pop, and I’ve been dizzy.  I am not one to be sick often and it takes a lot to get this lady in bed.  Nope I haven’t ended up there so today my husband said why don’t you stay home and rest.  So when the phone pinged for substitute job last evening I said no.  I am resting today – not really – but it’s restful to be home working on my Bible study, doing a little washing, doing a little cleaning and resting in between with maybe a nap and a walk before the day is done.

As I think about that word rest this morning it brings a lot of different thoughts, and I wonder how much do I actually rest.  It seems to me the older I get the less I rest.  You know things like hormones or just being so involved with life.  I am one that my head seems to be turning and churning all the time with something – whether it be good things or that dreaded word worry.  My husband commented on that the other night and how my mother would stay awake at night – not that she went all the time like I do because she didn’t – but she would stay awake worrying or thinking.

One of the things that pricks my heart today about rest is how I spend my time and what I am doing for the Kingdom because that is what really matters.  There are nights I can’t sleep – yep it’s the hormones.  My husband does not get it.  Years ago when I was young my head hit the pillow and I could be out in seconds.  Today I will lay there and can’t sleep so I’ll pray, I’ll think about my to-do list and you know an hour later I am still laying there so I get up.  I would like to clean or organize but that would wake him so I pray more, I read my Bible study or another book I have in the pipeline, I go on Facebook and check in on my Bible study groups, or I blog.

In resting I think some of that means we need to stop and rest and care for our family.  How often do we get consumed with technology, our to-do list like getting the ironing done, the washing, the folding, the mopping and ignore our families in the evening.  We are all busy.  We have doctor appointments, kids to get to school, homework, sports, taking care of parents, church, hobbies, and ………….Multi-tasking has become the norm.

Are you stopping to rest and spend time with your loved ones?  Are they getting your worst or your best?  I find myself getting too involved sometimes, especially when my husband says “I thought you were getting off of that computer” or “let’s watch a movie”.  I am trying to do better – get my housework and most of my study time done before the evening, but so often I am not home because I’m subbing, meeting a friend for lunch, buying groceries, picking up things we need here or keeping my grandson.  Am I there yet? NO!  Will I ever be?  I don’t know!

One thing that I do know today is that I need to stop and spend more time with family and I need to stop and spend more time with my Holy God!  They are all waiting and expecting us to show up.

 

 

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