My God Love Story

23 Jul
blog- my god love story

God so loved the world! God so loves me!

I am blessed studying “Am I Messing Up My Kids” by Lysa Terkeurst.  If you want to join some of the most amazing Bible Studies with Melissa Taylor and her awesome team, click on this link:

One of the blog hop topics this week is “My God Love Story”.   It has taken much thought to write this one from my heart.

My God love story began long before I was born, and so did yours.  Many of us think that love is those fairy-tale, Prince Charming-Cinderella feelings during our teenage years, and for me and my husband who met and fell in love in high school, it was and yes it still is and only because of God.  Has it always been easy to love each other? No.   Are there still days we disappoint each other?  You bet there is, but it is during those times I try to focus on the positive and good, remembering the wonderful Godly man I married.  For anyone married as long as us (45 years next month) life is NOT always easy.  I’ve found no matter what the journey that we can still love  like Jesus taught us as we grow more deeply in love with Him.

We enjoy going to movies - yep the popcorn calls us, but for me it’s a special time because we always hold hands.  When the popcorn’s gone, he reaches over and takes my hand.

us3I love always kissing him goodbye in the morning.  Even if I sleep in until 6:00 AM, he comes in and wakes me to kiss me goodbye, and evenings he comes in and hugs me as I greet him at the door.  Did we always do that?  No.  It’s over the years as we have fallen more in love with God and respect for each other that we’ve added endearing moments.

I remember not being able to stand to be apart when we were dating, missing him when he went home, and then he would call and we would stay on the phone for hours, and then hanging up and me waiting anxiously the next day for his call or to see him at school. Back then girls did not call boys – no internet, no texting, no cell phones.  Today, for him, there is still no internet and texting, but he finally uses his cell phone, and even turns it on occasionally.

Was it like that when you fell in love?  Do you love Jesus like that and MORE?   We should constantly want to talk to Him.  We should be planning our next date with Him. How long has it been since you really spent time with Him?  How long has it been since you longed for him and He for you?

So what is your love story today?  Who or what is your FIRST LOVE?  How would you fill in this blank space – my first love is ___________(your name, money,  job, house, car, boyfriend/girlfriend,   spouse or  children)?  Our first love has to be Jesus, and everything else falls into place.   Lysa said, “I have to consciously return to my first love every day.  In big ways and small, I have to make the choice to reveal the reality of Jesus in my life.”

Years ago I admired my husband to a fault, and cherished my children the same way, sometimes forgetting who should have first place, but one day I was knocked to my knees realizing my husband and children are human, and they are going to fail me and I them.   He is the ONLY one that will NEVER let us down, and I find that He is MORE THAN ENOUGH when trials come, when I feel like a failure as a wife or mother, when I am having an awful day, and when I am on my knees in despair.  He is ALWAYS waiting for me with a great, compassionate, tender love like no other.

Lysa reminded us our hearts need to be sold out for God, “a heart that loves Him not for what He does, but for who He is…….When things are going wrong, praise Him anyway!  Thank Him in advance for the good He will surely bring from all situations. (Romans 8:28)”

We are taught how to love God in the Ten Commandments.  Look at the first three:

  1. I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me.

  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

  3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

A lesson for all of us – money, husband, home, children, job – NOTHING should be a “god” before Him!

Do you hold His name Holy, or do you take His precious name in vain?  Do your children and spouse see how Holy He is because of how you live?

Are you keeping the Sabbath holy?  Do you get up anxiously awaiting to go to church and hear God’s Word, or do you grudgingly get up scurrying around and yelling at the kids to get dressed, running late, putting on a smiling face at church?

I love 1 Corinthians 13.

blog 1 cor 13

NOW read it again and insert your name where it says love and it, i.e. Debbie is patient, Debbie is kind, Debbie does not envy. The first time I did that it broke my heart when I realized how I was not loving my husband, children and parents like that.  Even today I have to go back to that verse and reminded what love is.

The next seven commandments are about loving our neighbors and can be summarized as follows:

Blog - Matthew 2237-39

Jesus is our only role model, our Prince Charming and the perfect example of how we should love one another.  Jesus is the greatest love story ever told  as he showed us His amazing love on the cross.  No matter what happens in life, He should be our God love story.  Had it not been for Him, I would have no love story!

Mixed Berry Smoothie – YUM!

21 Jul

DSC03649

I have been sampling and trying different mixtures with smoothies.  Made this one for my morning breakfast today.  Loved it.

1 cup almond milk – 30 calories

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries – approximately 30 calories

1/2 frozen banana – 45 calories

1/2 scoop whey protein vanilla powder (I used the Sprouts brand) 45 calories

I added a few tablespoons water so it wasn’t so thick

So about 150 calories

Being A Mom Is Tough

16 Jul

I love, love, love being a Mom -always have and always will, and now a Nanna. Oh yes, it is a whole lot of Heaven for me on earth, but being a Mom and a grand mom can be tough. It is a wonderful blessing, and one of the most magnificent roles we can ever, ever hold. BEING A MOM IS TOUGH!  So how do I become the Mom that God desires me to be?  I am in a Bible Study called Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa Terkeurst and learning all I can and my favorite go to in the Bible is Proverbs Chapter 31.

Proverbs 31.28

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH in many different ways, but for most of us those tough times are just seasons or even moments that will fade.  For me personally, just becoming a Mom was tough.

  • 10 years of marriage
  • 6 miscarriages
  • toxemia with both children
  • one child 9 weeks early
  • 2 c-sections

Holding that precious little bundle in our arms and looking in its eyes for the first time makes all the pain go away.   I remember the evening before my son was born standing in church at a revival crying as we sung Because He Lives and that second verse “How sweet to hold a newborn baby”.  Oh how sweet it is and how blessed it is to hold a child.  When you are having a tough night with a newborn, count your blessings and say a prayer for those that are going through infertility.

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH WITH A NEWBORN

  • Ear infections
  • Sleepless nights
  • Colic
  • Diapers
  • Puke

Having a newborn is so remarkable and miraculous and awesome and beautiful.  Being a Mom is spectacular experiencing the cuddles, the giggles, the smiles, hugs and the mornings they come racing to your bed with tousled hair and smiles?  Babies are a precious gift.

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH trying to maintain a home:

  • Neglected house.
  • Laundry piled high
  • Toys all over the place
  • Pulled in so many directions trying to tend, mend, cook and find time for the children
  • Impatient, grumpy and tired.
  • Stir crazy
  • Needing adult companionship or others to interact with
  • Trying to keep toddlers out of things
  • Nap time is the only time during the day you get to sit down

You wonder if you should do the laundry or read the kids a book.  Being a Mom of older married children now, I say stop and read a book. Give you and the children a break and you’ll all feel better.

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH when you work full-time outside the home

  • Being away during the day.
  • Leaving little ones
  • Getting up early
  • Scheduling soccer, basketball, football, cheer leading practice, dance, piano, church, gymnastics, swimming, tennis etc. after working all day.
  • No time to wash, iron, clean or cook healthy meals
  • Stressful trying to juggle everyone’s schedules.

Psalm 23.3

It is hard.  For all of us Moms it is tough whether you work at home or outside trying to juggle schedules and to-do lists but the top of our to-do lists should be our family.  Yes being a stay-at-home Mom is tough too, but what a reward to be there molding and shaping those children like God has called you to do.  One of the things Lysa Terkeurst said was”

“Let my time with the Lord overflow while withholding my to-do list.”

From being a special-needs teacher I know being a Mom is tough for those mothers who have a child with special needs:

  • 24/7 job for some whose children seldom sleep
  • Children in wheelchairs
  • Children who can not feed themselves
  • Children who can not ever go to a bathroom

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH  if you are single.

  • Doing it all alone.
  • Convincing a child of a divorced parent that their dad loves them.
  • A to-do list and running kids to and fro with no one to help.

During these times flee to His presence and spend time with Him in prayer and in the Word and let Him comfort you.

Isaiah 6613

 

Lysa reminded me  “How can I continue to pour out if I’m not being filled back up?”

BEING A MOM IS TOUGH  and challenging taking care of more than one child with different personalities and love languages.  Sometimes it is just hard to know what they need in order to feel loved.  Remember a mother is the heart of the home, and her emotions can become the emotions of the entire household so we need to be careful.   Children mimic us and their little minds are just like a recorder – they hear every word, they hear our tone of voice and they watch our facial expressions.  Think about it – you smile, they smile, you clap, they clap, you squeal, they squeal and that’s when they are tiny little babies.  Be assured they are watching, they are listening,  and they will grow up to act as they react to how you reacted.  Ever heard that saying, “If Mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.  You set a tone – will it be one that your husband and your children see you actively seeking God and studying the Word and praying, or will it be one where you are yelling, complaining, nagging, gossiping and being lazy?

Proverbs 21.23

Being a Mom for some is really tough during the teenage years.

  • Problems in school with grades, teachers or other students
  • Hormones
  • Differences of opinions
  • Choice of friends
  • Drugs or Drinking
  • Tempers

Being a Mom is tough during college years:

  • Grades
  • Roommates – especially with those girls and different personalities – some want to party and some like mine wanted to sleep
  • Leaving the nest

Being a Mom is tough for all us through those years on our knees praying for our children and those that they come in contact with not wavering to peer pressure or what others think.

  • Lifetime job
  • Worry about them when they travel, during bad weather, when they have children and the list goes on

The Bible teaches us to not worry and know that God is in control.  The Proverbs 31 Mom will remember to laugh at those thoughts that Satan puts in our minds.  She knows God is in control and she can laugh at the days to come.  She is cheerful about the future.  She boldly approaches the throne of God knowing He is always there waiting and listening. Proverbs 3125 Yes being a Mom is a very tough job and it is a position I cherish.  The little ones are gone so fast – it’s all over and you want to do it over and do it better and we get to with our grandchildren.  God is so good – He gives us tools and continues to help us grow so we can use those tools to mold our grandkids.

Remember you have a very lasting influence and legacy for those little ones in your presence.  What a challenge knowing that you are molding those lives for the future and even future generations! Being a Mom is I believe a very high honor, and one that should reflect Christ’s example.  “You are exactly the mom God knew your children needed.”  Lysa TerKeurst

In closing, remember these words from Lysa and let God’s grace cover you:

Blog - MUK

Summer Busy Days

10 Jul

It is a beautiful, hot summer July day in Texas and this weekend we will be hitting 100 degrees. So far this summer we have had some much-needed rain for a few weeks there, but now it’s time for watering and mowing in the heat.

When school was out the first of June, I  was expecting a big slow down, but it has not happened and it looks like every single day has something.  What’s up?  Church, Bible Studies, parties, getting things repaired around the house like new doors, oil changes, automobile recalls, remodeling a pool, lots of watering to replace grass lost from the drought,  new flowers and plants that need more water, putting up peaches from our trees, family reunions, mowing, etc..  I thought to myself in June that July will be slower, hold on July is coming – it’s here and every beautiful day is booked, and now so is August and then school.

So how do I stay flexible and bending and happy with busy schedules and a “to do” list that is not completed. As I thought about that this morning, I pondered on how does God want me to spend my days and am I reflecting Him in what I do each day.

Minutes

WHEW! Why doesn’t it ALL get done?

Time is not mine.  It is time that God blessed me with, so how can I honor Him with how I spend my seconds?  How can I prioritize according to God’s plan – God first and others and myself second?

1 Chron 23.30

Sunup – Get up and have a breakfast. Spend some time alone with Him and on my knees.

Matthew 1128a

Are you feeling weary?  Rest in Him as you start each day.

 

P31

I am involved in Online Bible Studies. Every morning I spend time with women all over the world studying the Word. Join us at http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/

 

Planner

Keep a planner and keep it handy. Have one that you can carry wherever you go. That way you can add to it and you will have it handy if you get stuck in traffic or end up at an appointment with nothing to do. Some folks keep it all on their phones, but me I still have to have a real live planner. Look at your planner in the evening before you end your night and in the morning after your prayer and study time. The night before plan out tomorrow. The morning of pull it out and map out how you want your day to look like.

I asked myself this morning why my “to do” list for June did not get completed, and maybe it was because it was three 8.5 x 11 pages, but as I look over it I accomplished a lot.  So much is happening that some days I can’t even seem to touch that “to do” list.

to do

Get out that “to do” list. Even if I am in school during the year there are simple tasks that can get done in 10 minutes and certainly we can schedule in 10 minutes a day. If you are off work pick 2 or 3 things that are bothering you and get them done.

Family Final

Find time for family. Have a date night with the hubby or kids. Call your parents? Go see your parents! If you still have grandparents contact them. Just do it! Are you making the time count? Are you making memories?

Relax

Find time for you.  Read a book, work on a hobby, sit in a bubble bath – just do something you love to do.

So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.  Ephesians 5:15-16 

Luke 631

Find time for friends. How long has it been since you called a friend? How long has it been since you emailed a friend? Put it on your “to do” list. I talked to three people today I used to work with that I have not talked to in over six months. Fit it in your schedule. You will be glad you did.

Psalm 11962

When I cannot go to sleep or I awaken in the night, I have learned to lay there and pray. If I still cannot sleep I get up and read my Bible or some other study. I firmly believe in those times, my Lord is speaking to me and I need to abide.

Blog - Psalm 90.12

Make the Moments matter. Make the seconds count. Build some memories. Savor every day!

 

July 4th – Independence Day – What It Really Is

4 Jul

July 4

It’s the 4th of July and if you are in America chances are many of you are cooking hot dogs, hamburgers, family, swimming pools, firework displays, yard work, reading, enjoying a lazy day off of work – a long weekend this year with it being on Friday. What are your plans?  No matter what they might be take time to reflect on what July 4th truly means.

Take time today to reflect on what Independence Day is.   SO what is it?

July 4

Think about what our founders fought for and why they came to this country.  John Adams wrote a beautiful letter to his wife describing .

Flag - John Adams

Are you thankful today for the sacrifices our founders made for our freedom?  I am as I pause to reflect and pray today for all they did to make my life what it is.  Do you take your freedom for granted until something happens?  Are you truly thankful?

Flag - George Washington

 

Our ancestors knew the importance of the Bile and believed we are endowed by our Creator.  Go read the Declaration of Independence today, and do that each year.  Read it to your children and grandchildren.

Fireworks

On Sunday at church our teacher shared a few facts I didn’t know.  I verified each one on Wicipedia.

  • John Adams, 2nd President of the United States and Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President both died on July 4, 1826 on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and both were signers of the Declaration
  • James Monroe, 5th President of the United States died July 4, 1831.
  • Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States was born on July 4, 1872.

Here are a few excepts from the Declaration of Independence:

Declaration of Indepedence

Flag - 2 Cor 317

 

Lost

27 Jun

LOST

It’s Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker and the topic is Lost – 5 minutes – no more so here goes.

Have you ever lost a child in a store?   We lost ours once at church.  Oh yes we did.  I was reminded that Jesus was left in Jerusalem – his parents were traveling with family.

We lived about 15 minutes away and were having some friends over for dinner that evening after church. So I grabbed my 4 year old daughter and jumped in the car with the woman and her children and my hubby was coming in another car with her spouse.

I got home and started getting things ready and about 15 minutes later my husband walks in and I say where’s our son and he said I thought you had him.  Well it’s dark outside and our church was in a bad neighborhood.  We both panicked and he was heading out the door to go back to church when the phone rang.  A voice on the phone says “have you lost a child” and I started laughing.  Some good friends saw him walking around the parking lot – he was only about 7 years old.

Lesson learned from this grandmother – always make sure if you are separating that you know who the kids are riding home with.  Mine are grown now but it’s a good lesson for our new grandchild and kids to learn.

What Happens When Women Say Yes To God – Book Review

27 Jun
I thoroughly enjoyed this devotional and even bought another to give to a cousin who had surgery. This book is loads of fun and anything that Lysa TerKeurst writes is funny and inspiring. A must for women to go along with her book “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God”. The devotions are backed-up with scripture and Lysa share her journeys with the Lord – you feel like you are with her and you feel like she has been right where you are. One of the devotions she challenged us to be intentional in encouraging someone with a compliment, positive note, or text message. I stopped in my tracks that day and sent a test, sent an email, and posted a message to a teacher at school.
I love this book and will keep it close, especially if I am every feeling a life challenge upon me. This book will bring joy and I highly recommend it.  Get it in a hard copy so you can keep it close.
 
I received this book from Harvest House Publishing in exchange for an honest book review.

 

The Glory of Heaven Book Review

27 Jun

The Glory Of Heaven
by Betty Malz

glory book

This book contains true stories and answers about Heaven – our true home.  It was comforting to me even though I have been a Christian for years, but especially since we lost my Mom last year.

It explains what Heaven is like, how we arrive there, based on scripture and personal stories of people who have firsthand experienced walking through those glorious gates and provides us a beautiful glimpse of only some of what Heaven has to offer.

I loved this book  It was an easy, enjoyable read.  She reminds us that “people are all we can take to eternity” and “people are the only commodity that transfers from this life.”  There will be no more “racing the clock”, “no emergencies”, “no wrong decisions”.

Malz shares her own personal experience with death – 28 minutes – and tells us what she saw as well as the experience of many others.

This book will fill you with hope about a topic that is so seldom discussed.  Some of the topics she shared were:

  • Will I recognize and reunite with my loved ones?
  • Where is heaven located?
  • What kind of body will I have?
  • Will I be free from grief, pain and loneliness?
  • What will we do up there all the time?

I loved how she shared six principles we can follow to enhance the journey, to be assured that we walk with Him.  Go buy this book and learn all you can about your final home!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through Chosen Books, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.

Colossians 3:23 – Work Heartily

25 Jun

Colossians 323

Whatever you do.  Whatever the task, work, relationship, worship – anything and everything that I do each and every day, each and every moment.

Work heartily. Whatever I do, I need to work heartily, or as some versions say with enthusiasm.  I need to always give it everything that I have got.  Heartily in the Greek means from the soul.  Do I always, with enthusiasm tackle the things around my house – the laundry, the dishes, the yard, cooking, mopping, cleaning – the answer is NO!  Do I always with enthusiasm worship heartily – the answer is NO!  This verse tells me the answer should always be YES!  Slowly, I’m learning.  As I’m on my riding mower I am in worship and awe of the birds, the clouds and praying for those I know and love.  As I rise in the morning, I am rising heartily to greet a new day and a beautiful sunrise.  When I am washing clothes I give thanks for them and also the food as I am cooking.  As work, build relationships, serve with joy, and be honest.

As for the Lord and not for men.  No matter what our job is or what is going on in our lives, we should be doing it as for the Lord and not for men or ourselves.  Working for the Lord has eternal rewards that are not found by pleasing men.  When you are on the job, at church, and home are you doing for the Lord or for men or for you?  Are you doing it to be approved, rewarded, admired, complimented, praised or adored by men?  We should be working diligently, and it should always be only for Him – not for our spouses, our children our bosses  - but only Him and the rest will fall into place.

 The Lord’s inheritance is your reward.  Sometimes our jobs do not feel rewarding, and maybe you do not receive that pay raise or promotion or even a pat on the back with a thank you that you were expecting, or you may work so hard at home cleaning and cooking and never feel appreciated, taking care of elderly parents and feeling down and needing rest, or maybe you are in school where you have worked so hard to get an “A” and it did not happen.   Remember that the inheritance you are promised is your reward.

 “Let me encourage you. No one may see the behind-the-scenes work Jesus is doing through you, but God the Father sees. And He’s cheering you on.” (Limitless Life, Pastor Derwin Gray, p. 203)

 

 

 

 

Drop Your Nets – Gone Fishin’

25 Jun

Blog - Matthew 418-20Do you love fishing?   I do.  I love just going and being on the lake, watching a beautiful sunrise and being with family.  I love seeing the smiles on faces as my son finds the “perfect place” and we start reeling in those fish.  My son and my hubby will go fishing in any weather – frigid cold, rain and you name it – they go.  Not me – it has to be a warm, sunny day.

fishin

Family Fishin’ Fun

We studied about two fishermen this week – Peter and Andrew.  Jesus told them to drop their nets and they did.  They did not hesitate or doubt, they followed Jesus immediately.  Jesus is telling us just as He did Peter and Andrew to drop our nets.   So what is your net?  What is keeping you from fishin’ today, why are you hesitating, why are you doubting, what is holding you back?

What is it you should be doing that you think you might not be qualified to do?

 Pastor Derwin Gray told us this week in our Limitless Life Study that the truth is, we are not qualified to follow Him and that Jesus is calling losers and failures — like us — to become faithful followers of HIS!  He is not calling extraordinary people, He is calling ordinary people like you and me.  What is he calling you to do, what is it he is asking you to give up that maybe you have gotten so comfortable with that it has slowed your walk with him?Are you so comfortable with your job, hobbies, sports, so busy with your family and even church or school that you cling to them and you leave Jesus behind?

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them 

Blog - Matthew 419

fishin13a

Father and Son – Both love fishing for fish and people!

God is calling us to do the same thing today.  Sometimes we lose sight of what we are called to do.  We get busy with our exhilarating lives – children, spouses, parents, grandchildren, jobs, finances, and pain.  We want to stay in calm waters, but Jesus tells us we are supposed to be fishers – fishers of men.   What does that mean?  It might mean simply reconciling with others, it might mean evangelism, it might mean giving up a job you are not happy in, it might mean being a light and showing Jesus right where you are in your present job and in your community.

Fishing

So how is fishin’ for fish like fishing for men.  I thought about that for a bit and here’s what I came up with based on my trips with our son:

  • Be prepared.  We have to have a license to fish, and we need bait and equipment to catch fish.  We have to get up early.    Just like fishing for men – we have to be prepared.  We have to know Jesus, we have to show Jesus.
  • We have to find time.  Wow, isn’t life busy.  When we are planning a trip, it gets tough sometimes planning around several families and all our agendas.  We have to find time to be fishers of men too – we have to find the time and spend time with people and let them see Jesus in us.
  • It takes patience.  Sometimes those fish aren’t biting, and my son is not very patient.  He cranks up that boat and off we go somewhere else where the fish are.  Jesus went where the fish were, and he used methods and language that caught fish.  DO YOU?  Are you going where the “fish” are – at work, neighbors, community, grocery stores, sports events with your children, and even church.  Do you show Jesus wherever you go?  Just as the fish don’t come to us when we are fishing, people don’t come to us.  We have to GO!

Blog - Matthew 4.18-22

Time to leave our comfort zones NOW because He said GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  GO and live an others-centered life.

“Let me encourage you. No one may see the behind-the-scenes work Jesus is doing through you, but God the Father sees. And He’s cheering you on.” (Limitless Life, Pastor Derwin Gray, p. 203)

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