Monday, February 29, 2016


Today is LEAP DAY!!!  My 6th grade students have watched a video on Leap Day and they have gone to Microsoft WORD and created Flyers inviting everyone to a Leap Day "pretend" party.

My question is.............summed up by this cartoon by Maxine....(Sent to me by my friend...Michelle)...

Not only am I NOT a morning person.............I am definitely not a MONDAY person.  Our church is 35 minutes from our home, so Sundays are either spent staying on the church field and visiting or driving, driving, driving.....which makes Mondays even more dreaded.

This Monday is even more tiring..................Friday night we were at church until late, where Roger was helping to hang our new LED lights.  Saturday night we had a special worship service at church...............A Night of Surrender.  It was an awesome night.  Our young worship leaders played their hearts out and our youngest minister, preached his heart out.  AND.....most exciting....Roger got to SIT and listen and enjoy...WITH ME.  Yes....I did not have to sit alone.  It was a very uplifting and joyful night.

BUT....add....Friday night lack of sleep + Saturday night late night + full day on Sunday.....= the potentials of a yulky LEAP DAY MONDAY.  Smile.

NOW...that I have that off my chest..................

THIS IS THE DAY THAT THEY LORD HAS MADE.  I will rejoice (even though it is a MONDAY) and be glad in it.

Hope you have a GREAT LEAP DAY too.  May God Bless you Richly!


Friday, February 26, 2016

A Place for Love in Politics

The last Republican debate before "Super Tuesday" was held last night.

I didn't watch it.

I did watch some of the "highlights" as edited by ABC News and Good Morning America this morning.

Men in suits, behind podiums with microphones, had a lot to say about each other and little to say about much else.

These guys are literally supposed to be on the same side, agreeing about more than they disagree about. Yet here they are talking over each other, red-faced, hot and bothered, trying to differentiate themselves from the other suits with American flags on their lapels.

As I wrote earlier in the week, I am thankful for our political process. I believe in our Republic. I literally, actually, thank God I was born an American in America. Yet, the bickering and blowing, on top of the accusations and acidic banter turns me off.

I am praying through whom I will vote for. Too many servicemen and women continue to sacrifice too much for me not to exercise my right to go to the polls.

However, I can see why someone might boycott the election this year. I can be sympathetic to my fellow American who does not see a "good" or "worthy" choice for president and decides to stay home. It is hard to argue with the polls on all the networks. The constant reporting seems to reiterate the idea that one individual vote really doesn't matter that much anyway. Who would notice if Joe or Jane Registered Voter doesn't vote?

This week my middle school aged daughter started asking some pretty deep theology questions, questions I didn't ask myself until I was a young, married woman and my seminary-attending husband needed to talk some things out.

While I am thrilled she is seeking God on such a deep level, her daddy and I were quick to caution her. We encouraged her to pray through things and ask us all the questions she had, but we wanted to explain that these topics could be and have been very divisive within many churches for generations.

None of her queries had anything to do with the basic principles of Christianity, yet are scriptural interpretations that Godly, intelligent believers differ over. The most mature believers can agree to disagree over these things, but sadly and most unfortunately, others have split churches and divided families. Heated discussions turn to tearful, passionate pleas with everyone feeling that they've been wronged or that the other side is so wrong that communion among Christian brothers and sisters is severed.

Our churches and even our relationships can turn into a political debate of sorts, but yet we still scratch our heads in bewilderment as people leave our congregations or have no desire to align themselves with a church, any church. Boycotting is an understandable end result.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 ESV

It may seem naive to quote Lennon and say "All We Need Is Love," but I fully believe it just depends on how we define the "love" we need.

Our churches, our nation and, yes even our politics NEED our God-defined "love."

It isn't a blank check kind of love that says everything and everyone is okay. The above passage clearly shows that there is "wrongdoing" and that there is "truth."

It is a love that is patient, kind, humble, and polite.

It is not bossy, prideful or grumpy.

This is the kind of love I want and need to be practicing. This kind of love is beyond my capabilities. This is the love I need the Holy Spirit to produce in me.

I don't know if a candidate that exhibited a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love is electable or not, but this is the kind of love that should fill our churches no matter what is debated.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The"But" of Politics

Super Tuesday is next week.

Tennessee along with a bunch of other states will go to the polls to vote on which candidate will be the best nominee for President.

I respect our process. I am honored to have the privilege to vote. I understand that many sacrificed a great deal in order for me to exercise this right. I will vote.

However, I don't ever remember being so unexcited or uninspired to do so. I have done my best to vote in every election I could since I turned 18. But this election seems different.

I have more information at my fingertips than ever. Thanks to social media I know more about who is voting for whom than in any other election before. The only strong feelings I have about the candidates is whom I really do NOT want to vote for.

It is easy for me to be discouraged this election year. The thought of nine more months of this crazy circus can actually depress me if I give into it. The thoughts of "what if" or "could we really" overwhelm me if I allow my brain to go there.

Things seem bleak to me. Sigh.

Yet, how easy is it to fall into these same thought patterns within our places of service? We can look around at the ministries that God has called us to and can find ourselves wallowing in self-pity, doubt and depression.

"But" (I love when this word appears in Scripture!) just as God is ultimately in control of ordaining our country's leader, He is ultimately in control of what is happening in and around our churches. The church is not ours. She is His.

"For we know in  part and we prophesy in part, BUT when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away." 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 ESV (emphasis mine)

I don't know when "the perfect" is coming, "but" I want to be found ready, hopefully and optimistically waiting. Yes, my knowledge now is limited, "but" read to the end of the verse! The promise is there: "the perfect" is coming and my partial, limited knowledge and efforts will be gone.

Praise the Lord! He is our hope - not any politician or any candidate, Jesus.

Monday, February 22, 2016

For the Love of Politics


It is a presidential election year and all the newscasts on all the media outlets are filled with political stories. Polls and predictions prevail over most other news. Even if another topic is given precious air time minutes or coveted print inches, some author, editor or producer will make sure whatever "it" is will be tied back into the political scene.

The talking heads fascinate me. With their perfectly coiffed hair styles and their designer duds, they pontificate over what the various politicians said or didn't say or how they said whatever it was that they said they said or didn't say.... Sigh.

Being that Tennessee is not a hotly contested state, we do not have to suffer through too many ads approved by the committee selected to elect so-and-so or what's-his-name, and for that, I'm thankful.

After about 10 minutes of the reporting or debating or discussing or whatever it is they're doing, I've had enough and I gladly hand the remote to my daughters so they can watch a rerun on Disney Junior.

As ministers' wives, we understand politics.

We understand the importance of keeping a certain deacon's wife happy or how necessary it can be to sway the opinion of this committee or that leadership team. It is easy to fall into the trap of pandering to or appeasing various attendees or members.

Our husbands have God-given visions for the church, yet a bill, or Supreme Court Justice Nominee, might be more easily approved through Congress before our man can make a simple first step in the direction God has called our church to go.

It is easy and understandable to want to turnover the remote and leave the politics behind. Many younger attendees of our churches and young seminary graduates are leaving our established churches to find places to serve and worship that are a lot less "political."

I don't blame them, but many of us are still called to SERVE these churches drenched in the traditions of politics. So how do we do it?


"Love BEARS all things, BELIEVES all things, HOPES all things, ENDURES all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV (emphasis mine)

Through the love of God we can bear, believe, hope and endure through the ebb and flow of the political season - and the meaning there goes far deeper than which Democrat or Republican is ahead in the polls.....

Friday, February 19, 2016

Be All God WANTS

The texting began early yesterday morning before I left for work and went like this (please forgive the typos….I’m quoting the exact ‘conversation’.  Also, the text in parenthesis in the conversation below are my comments to you….not part of the conversation!  I’m pretty sure you could figure that out….this is the part of me that wants to be sure I am communicating well.  Again, I say it again….it is exhausting being me!!):

ME:  Where do you want to go today?  It’s ur bday so u decide!  Im good with anywhere.  Also if something came up and if its best for u to not go, ill understand (Notice the people-pleaser part of me rearing its ugly head?)

HER:  what time do you get off work?

ME:  1:15

HER:  You say where.  About 1:30? (It takes me a while to respond…I am pondering about whether to let her off the hook about deciding where….I don't want to decide where.  What if it is a place she does not like?  What if…..blah, blah, blah!  Exhausting I tell you!)

ME:  what happened to u decide?  its ur bday!  I don’t know where or care insert smiley face.  I can be anywhere u say by 1:30 (Yes!  I am so proud of myself!!)

HER:  how about Cheesecake Factory? 

ME:  (Barely able to control myself) Y shore!  Got to go vacuum the Pier!  (I work at Pier 1) See ya later!

Just in case you have not read my posts this week, you might want to read the last three just to catch up and understand why this is such a great recommendation for a place to eat!!!

Be all God wants.  We looked at the be, the all, and the God….it is now time for the WANTS.

Be all God WANTS

There are two aspects of WANT I’d like to address:
1.  He WANTS to bless us! 
    I marveled yesterday as I sat at the Cheesecake Factory with my friend and celebrated her life and looked at this Factory Chopped Salad (FCS) sitting in front of me. 
   The very thing I just wrote about a couple of days earlier!! The very thing I had to go to the Internet to get a picture of so I could put it in the earlier post was on my plate with my fork in it!! I could take a picture of my very own FCS!!!  It hit me….God WANTS to bless me! Provide for me. Love on me!

   Now some of you may be thinking....."of course she suggested the Cheesecake Factory!!  You just wrote about loving to go there in a Blog...on the Internet!"  Here's the deal though....most of my friends and the people at church have NO idea I write this blog!!  Yep....insecurity rearing its ugly head too!!  I still believe God WANTS to pour out His blessings!

2.  Creation needs woman…but God WANTS us!

Genesis 2:18-20 tells us that ‘it was not good for the man to be alone’.  This is quite outrageous because each time God completes a phase of His amazing, beautiful creation it was ‘good’!  This time, however, it was 'not good'!  God was about to make a ‘helper suitable’ for him.

Make sure we stop and see how NEEDED we are not only as women….but as a woman!!  You….not simply the gender.

God was about to create something NEEDED!!  You are needed!!  When was the last time you felt needed????  And what did He mean by needed??

Needed to clean up messes?  Cook meals?  Were we a luxury or a pet for man?  NO!  We were the perfect answer to a need:  a helper suitable.

The key here is in the word helper.  It comes from the Hebrew word Ezer.  An Ezer is a strong warrior!!  God created us to be a strong warrior!  Oh, how I could go on and on about this…maybe another post!!

But here’s the beautiful thing…..creation/man needs us   But God?  God doesn’t need us.  He WANTS us.  He WANTS to have an amazing friendship with us like He did with Moses!

AND He WANTS me JUST AS I AM!!!  Messed up, burned out, hurt, broken, stupid.  Amazing!  I am WANTED by God.  And so are you!!

Be all God wants!!  It’s a blast!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Be All GOD Wants

There have been people at church who want me to BE more “visible”, wear dresses, sing in the choir, play the piano, cook funeral food, go to visitation and business meetings, sit on the front row, and who-knows-what-all.  I’m pretty sure this is simply a sample of the things church members want me to BE.

Sadly, much of my life has been spent being who I thought others wanted me to be.  Who my parents and my friends and employers wanted me to be.  When I married and had children, I wanted to be who I thought Ernie and the kids wanted me to be.  As a speaker, I desire to please the person who asked me to come and to meet the needs of each participant.  To add to all of this….there were the people at church!!!  Oh how I wanted to be who they wanted me to be!!  Talk about exhausting, draining and sinful!!!

What about you?  Do you ever struggle with being all others want you to be?  If so, you know how hard it is because what one person wants….is not the same thing another person wants…and it is draining trying to BE ALL of those things!

So, my last two posts have focused on the theme Be All God Wants.  Today, let’s focus on the God portion.

Be All GOD wants!!

What is it GOD wants us to be?  He wants us to be who He created us to be!!  You will thrive when you are you!!

It is not about fitting into a cookie cutter model….it is not about following a checklist of do’s and don’ts or some predetermined behaviors and rigid rules….it is much better and broader and fun-er than that!!!

GOD wants me to be who He created me to be!  Generally as a woman and specifically as me.

He wants me to be me!!

Only because of the Word of God and His gentle but firm teaching and lots of people-pleasing mistakes, I have come a long way from the people-pleaser I once was, however, I still struggle with wanting to be what others want!! 

It’s not that I didn’t/don’t want what God wants…for some odd reason I believed that if I was being what God wanted, people would be pleased too!!  Nope.  Notta.  Not true!!  (Not sure why I believed that lie!!  People were not pleased with Paul or Jesus and they were doing what God wanted!!)

Not only is this people pleasing thing exhausting and sinful….what happens is then I put pressure on others to be who I want them to be!!!  What in the world???  I am doing the very thing I don’t want to do!!!  I want you/others to be who I want you to be!!

In John 17—Jesus, towards the end of His life, made a beautiful statement!  Looking up to heaven He says He has accomplished the work GOD gave Him to do!!  Hear that again, He accomplished everything GOD gave Him to do!  He did NOT do what the disciples wanted Him to do...or the multitude or even His mother!  He did what GOD wanted Him to do!!

Forgive us Lord for wanting to be what others want us to be rather than what You want us to be!  Help us to remember that when we do what You want, others might not be OK with us keep our eyes and heart and mind on You!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Be ALL God Wants

I love The Cheesecake Factory!!  The first time I ever went to this amazing restaurant (which, by the way, has a menu that resembles a novel) was in sunny, southern California.  I will never forget eating outside on a beautiful terrace with my parents and our two small children…one in a high chair…the other a toddler.  I remember the sun was beating down on the highchair with a metal tray!  Yep!  Metal tray!!  What were we thinking back in the day???  Anyway….our poor Brandon burned his poor little baby hands and the experience was less than perfect.

We now live about five minutes from one (and Brandon no longer requires a highchair)!!  Yep, really close and you can be jealous…but you must now stop and confess your sin.  Anyway….it’s too bad it costs way too much for us to go very often…but when we have a really special occasion or when someone generously gives us a gift card…we are there!!

My absolute favorite thing to get there is the Factory Chopped Salad!!  It is amazing! NOT, and hear me on this, NOT the skinnylicious version!  It is NOT the same nor is it as good.

Look at these pictures!! 

It has lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, corn, apples, chicken and it is then all mixed up with an amazing balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Oh the dressing!!  I LOVE IT!  Makes me want to go out right now to the Cheesecake Factory and get one!!  If It wasn’t snowing outside and if the wind wasn’t blowing a zillion miles an hour and if I had lots of extra money, (and yes, I’d still go in my sweats) I would go and get one of those salads right now!!  Did I mention there is one five minutes from where I live??

Soooo…each delicious, yummy ingredient is super good all by themselves….I could easily eat a bunch of bacon or an apple or serving of corn, etc. but with the ingredients all mixed together…it is SO much better!! 

What’s my point torturing us all with this yummy salad and even mentioning the word cheesecake??  In the last post I wrote about BE all God wants.  Today I want to look at the ALL part of that statement!

Be ALL God wants. 

The Factory Chopped Salad would not be all it could be if it were only made with lettuce.  ALL of the ingredients make it amazing.  We need ALL He has for us!!  Not just a part of what He has for us!!!

He is the one who mixes ALL of the right ingredients together so that I can be ALL He wants!!  HE does it!!!  I am simply the large bowl who takes it all in and serves to those who want it!!!

We KNOW that we cannot be ALL God wants in our own strength.  Impossible.  Notta. No way.

In 1 Thessalonians 5—Paul lists things we are to ‘be’—the ingredients per se (or is it per say??!).  Take a look at them when you get a chance.

Then in verse 24 he says this!!  “He is faithful to make it happen”!!  God is faithful to make ALL we are to be happen!!  He does it!

Jeremiah 32:27  Behold, I am the Lord….is anything too difficult for me?

Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

As I think about that Factory Chopped Salad…it occurs to me that I left out an ingredient!!  I don’t want them to put in the blue cheese.  I don’t like blue cheese.  I nicely ask them to please substitute the blue cheese with mozzarella cheese.

Do I do that with God?  Ask Him to please substitute what I don’t like with what I do like???  I like the rejoicing and encouraging….but I’d like to cut the ingredient that requires me to be admonished!! 

Lord help us to not be afraid to be ALL you want!!!!  Forgive me for picking and choosing as if Your will and Your Word was a buffet or a salad bar!!

Forgive me Lord!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

BE All God Wants

Be All God Wants.  I struggle with being all God wants versus what I want versus what others want....perhaps you also struggle with this.

Be All God Wants.    Be All God Wants.  BE ALL GOD WANTS.  Be All God Wants.  I have said those four words over and over and over in my mind for the past few months.  I have pondered them.  Journaled them.  Prayed over them.  Been a little obsessed with them.  And now I want you to do the same!!!

I ask myself many questions  (and I want you to ask them as well):

What all does God want?
Do I even want to be all God wants?
How do I be all God wants?
How do I know if I am being all God wants?

As I ask myself those (and many, many other) questions, I also am making a perpetual, on-going, seemingly endless list of the things scripture tells me I am to ”be”.  Here is where I am so far (notice it is in ABC order too!!  A little obsessive compulsive I suppose)

God wants me to be…

Aware of his presence, Baptized, Caretaker for less fortunate, Comforted, Compassionate, Content, Courageous, Dependent on Him, Disciple/d, Empathetic, Encourager/Encouraged, Engaged, Faithful, Fearless, Filled with the Holy Spirit, Focused on Him, Forgiver/Forgiven, Free, Fruitful, Generous, Giver, Grace giver, Healed, Helpful, His, Holy, Honest, Humble/Humbled, In His word, Joyful, Kind, Listener, Living for His glory, Loving/Loved, Mature, Mended, Merciful, Mine, Not afraid, Obedient, Of good cheer, Overcome with awe, Overcomer, Pardoned, Patient, Perfect/mature, Prayerful, Prepared, Present, Pure, Quiet, Ready, Real, Reconciled, Rescued, Satisfied, Saved, Self-sacrificing for others, Steadfast, Still and know He is God, Strengthened, Strong, Sympathetic, Thankful, Trusting Him, Truthful, Victorious, Wise as serpents, Witness, Worshipper

Shew!!  That’s a lot….and I know this is not even close to a comprehensive list!!  Would you please make a list too?  Would you share with me what is on your list that has not made it to mine yet?  The obsessive compulsive part of me wants this to, in some weird way, be complete!!  Oh my chili!!  Be complete!!  Colossians 2:10 tells me that He has made me complete!!  I must add "be complete" to my list!!  OK, so I must let go of the desire for my BE list to ever be a comprehensive/complete one!!

Notice that the phrase/question is not what does God want me to DO….but what does God want me to BE! 

The beautiful thing is that God is far more concerned with who I BE than what I DO!!  (Forgive the grammar but I know you understand why I did it that way).  When I BE all He wants….then I will DO all He wants and it pleases Him and brings Him much glory.

For me, and I am pretty sure many of you, this is hard because we are DOERS!  I love a list of what I need to DO.  I feel productive when I check each item off of the list….but I also can feel guilty when I don’t get it done.  I can also neglect the BEING part because I am so busy DOING.

BE all God wants VERSUS DO all God wants!!  The DOING comes after BEING…if I DO without BE….it can be burned up like wood and hay and straw (1 Corinthians 3:12).  It can sound like a noisy gong or a clanging symbol (1 Corinthians 13:1).

If we are not careful our DOING becomes rules and regulations and religion and works and then we want/require/need attaboys and affirmation for all we are DOING because we are doing it for ourselves or others and not for the glory of God.  And, watch out now, here it comes, we can become like a Pharisee!!!

Beware of being like a Pharisee!!  I recently heard it said that if you automatically don’t think you are acting like a Pharisee that you probably are!!  Yikes!!  In Luke 5 the Pharisees were devoted…lots of outward obedience.  DOING but not BEING.

They separated themselves from everything they thought unholy and they thought everyone was separated from God’s love except themselves.  Do we do that?  Does the church do that?  Do ministry wives do that?

Can we sit with critical eyes and hearts, just like the Pharisees in Luke 5, ready to pounce?  Doing, doing and doing without being?

God cares more about who we are than what we do.  He delights in a broken and contrite heart more than sacrifice (Psalm 51:16-17).

BE all God wants!  It is a process…BEING all God wants—a sanctification process…where I long to BE more like Him in character and will.  The ONLY way I can BE any of the things on the list above is through His Power!! 

Father, I long to BE all you want me to BE…

Friday, February 12, 2016


Have you ever had one of those moments at church or with a church member when something done or said is just so ridiculous that your response (maybe to yourself) is a sarcastic “really?”  I try very hard to keep my tongue in control but sometimes my brain runs wild.  However, it was really hard to keep both my tongue and brain reined in one Sunday not too long ago.

We have really morning Praise Team practice so I was at the church early and midway through rehearsal.  A few people trickled into the sanctuary, and I naively thought they were coming to get a sneak peak at the music for worship.  Hardly!

I noticed one lady walked to “her” pew on the back center row and placed what looked like green cards on the seats.  Hmm, I thought.  Then I realized what she was doing.  She was “reserving” her spot on “her” pew.  “Really?”

A few minutes later an older gentleman came in to the sanctuary and placed his Bible on “his” pew.  Now, I am confused.  The man was obviously going to Sunday School so don’t you think he would need his Bible?  “Really?”

The fact that these individuals “reserved” their spot for service was not the big issue.  The main thing for me was that these people sit every Sunday in the same spot and only interact with those immediately around them.  I have never seen them welcome a guest or offer their seat to a visitor.  “Really?”

If we are the body of Christ, shouldn’t we be willing to give up “our” seat or offer a friendly “hello” to guest who visit the church?  Because our service begins a little earlier than normal, I have seen people come in late for service, look for a spot at the back of the church and leave because no one will offer a seat to them.  Also, I have seen guest arrive late and they must walk to the front of the church to find a seat.  “Really?”  Where do you think the eyes of members are when visitors must walk to the front during worship?  It is certainly not on the God.

Last, our church is short on parking these days.  Our members have been asked to park away from the church so guest can have easy access to the buildings.  However, the same people park in the same spot Sunday after Sunday (and sometimes in the Visitor Parking).  “Really?”  Shouldn’t we as a body of Christ be more welcoming?

You may think I am venting and perhaps I am.  However, I do believe that we as ministers’ wives are not immune from doing the same thing.  I would imagine there are some of us who sit in the same spot every Sunday or park in the same area.  “Really?”  I am challenging myself and all of you to be a better example to our members.  Offer your seat to a visitor.  Take a moment to welcome them and find out how your church can assist them. 

Let’s be the church to the lost world!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

June Cleaver or Lucy

In our glass house world, are you June Cleaver or Lucy?
If you are too young to remember who these ladies are, let me explain.  June Cleaver was the fictional TV mother to a son nick-named Beaver.  She was the idea of the 1950’s mom.  She wore dresses, heels, and pearls while cleaning, cooking and entertaining.  She even managed to deal with mischievous Beaver.  If you have ever watched an old rerun of “Leave It to Beaver,” you find yourself asking the question why?  Why is she wearing a dress, heels, and pearls to clean the house or cook?  Why is nice china gracing the supper table?  Why? Why? Why?  (One question I want to ask of June Cleaver is how in the whole she manages not to pull a run in her hose while scrubbing the floor and baseboards). 

Most of you have seen old episodes of the Lucy show.  This sitcom portrays the world of a scatterbrained redhead who is married to a Cuban musician.  Although her world at times may be glamorous, Lucy always ends up in some kind of mess or mischief.  Her life is full of mishaps from attempting to work in a chocolate factory to being the spokeswoman for an “energy” tonic.  Life for Lucy is full of distractions which lead to burnt meals and at times a messy house.  However, Lucy always has her best friend Ethel by her side.

So I ask you . . . are you June Cleaver or Lucy in your ministry glass house world?

Personally, I am a Lucy.  I tend to become easily distracted which has often led to many burnt meals.  My family fondling refers to the ruined meals as “burnt sacrifices.”  Housekeeping is not fun for me either.  Oh, I keep the clothes washed, bathrooms shining, and mopped.  However, if it is a nice day outdoors, you will find me enjoying nature.  Before you judge me, remember that God gives us each day and He says to rejoice in them.  When the sun shines I rejoice . . . outdoors . . . enjoying nature.

This week I managed to actually clean the house, get the laundry done and cook some meals (without burning them).  Actually it has probably been three weeks since our home has been this clean.  Why?  I am little distracted keeping my grandsons, three year old Gideon and seven month old Jude, five days a week while their mommy works.  I can’t be worried about mopping a floor and folding laundry when I have an active three year old on the loose.  Then I must cuddle my JuJu Bean.  And no!  I do not wear heels, hose, dresses and pearls while loving my babies.  Most days I am in my exercise workout clothes (yes, I consider babysitting a definite workout), my hair barely combed, and no makeup. 

So ladies, I choose to be my hero, Lucy, who enjoys life in her little world.  Someday if you are in the neighborhood, peek in the windows of my glass house.  You will find me on the floor with these little boys building castles with Legos or we might be under a tent made from quilts reading The Cat in the Hat.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Time in the Word

My life these days consist of trying to juggle daily babysitting schedules for my two grandsons.  In between the playtime, cuddles, feedings, diaper changes and potty time, I have to figure out how to manage me.  The washer and dryer run constantly since a three year old and an eight month old get dirty constantly. Of course, cooking the evening meal is like an Olympic game with a three year old running circles around my kitchen island and trying to entertain the baby.  Let’s say just this Vivi gets tired and there are many early mornings when I would much rather sleep in than have my quiet time with the Lord.

However, today was a little different.  I do not have three year old Gideon so things are a little quieter in the house.  I do have 8 month old Jude.  Instead of settling down in my comfy corner chair in my bedroom for my quiet time, I decided to sit in the floor next to Jude.  I read aloud the scripture and devotional guide all while he laughed and played with his toys.
However, I noticed one thing.  While I was holding the Bible, Jude kept reaching for it.  Finally, I placed my Bible on the floor in front of him.  He grabbed the Word, pulled it to his chest and hugged it.  Now that is a picture!  Wow, shouldn’t we be anxious to pull the Word into our hearts and hang on tight to the promises of God?

Yes, our lives are busy and consumed with a whole host of “To Do” items on our list.  However, from the simple actions of my precious Jude, who watches everything I do, I will make time to be in God’s Word daily.  When I have my grandchildren with me, we will not just talk about the Bible and sing Veggie Tales “Silly Songs with Larry,” we will actually read a verse from the Bible and hug it tight in our hearts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

He Makes All Things New

Hello Ladies!

I hope this New Year finds each of you doing well! For me, the coming of a new year always symbolizes hope and new beginnings, a time to make a fresh start. It’s a good time for a do-over or maybe even a do-better, to make an intentional change in the way we did things in the past year or past years.

As I contemplate new beginnings, there is a verse in Isaiah that came to mind. This verse became very dear to me about 2 years ago when I was going through a rough time with someone very close to me. As I went through this situation, I would try to encourage myself by thinking, “ This will get better” and “This terrible time won’t last always” and “Surely there must be an end in sight.”

However, nothing encourages like the Word of God! The precious verse that brought me such peace was Isaiah 43:19. The New American Standard version says it like this,

Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

Such delightful promises in this verse!

First, The Lord makes a definitive statement, “I will”! Whenever I see those words associated with God speaking, I know for a fact that God WILL do exactly as He says because He is so faithful and we can trust Him to act. Also if God is making something new, then we can be assured that whatever is being made over, it will be much, much better, a thousand times better!

The verse also says that it will happen “now”. Now means without delay, in the present, at the exact moment, or immediately. Yet, God’s “now” may not be the same as our “now”. He has an appointed time when we will be complete with going through whatever we are going through. He does not dwell in time as we do, so once again, we have to trust Him that He is sovereign and has a definite end to the specific trial or trials that we find ourselves in.

Next, the Lord asks a question, “Will you not be aware of it?” I am a firm believer that the Lord does not waste pain, heartache, or suffering. There is a purpose to it all; we may not be aware of God’s plan, but He is working all things for our good. We all know and can quote Romans 8:28, that God works out all things for our good, but do we really believe that? Remember, the promise of that verse can only be claimed by those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God has a purpose. End of story. We just have to trust Him and not forget that He is faithful to His word. I hope we are seeing the fact that we cannot get around trust when it comes to believing God!

Finally, in the last two lines of this verse, I see “roadways in the wilderness” and “rivers in the desert”. A wilderness is full of thick foliage, and sometimes it is hard to see your way through; deserts are sometimes barren, dry places with very little life and vitality. What these two lines spoke to me was……The Lord can take a seemingly impenetrable and impossible situation and turn it around and bring hope out of it. Wow! Isn’t our God Awesome!

My sisters, since we’ve come through the first month of 2016, let us press on to all of the “new” things that Our Savior has for us this year. Remember, God has a plan for all of us, and HE WILL bring it to pass, because He is Faithful; and after we have come through the trials of life, HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW.