Monday, November 15, 2010

Wrestling with an Angel

This is from the book entitled ,"Wrestling with an Angel" by Greg Lucas. It speaks volumes to me!
“I hear religious minded people say all the time with good intentions. ‘God will never place a burden on you so heavy that  you cannot possibly carry it.’
My experience is that God will place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it alone. He will break your back and your will. He will buckle your legs until you fall flat beneath the crushing weight of your load. All the while He will walk beside you waiting for you to come to the point where you must depend on Him.
‘My power is made perfect in your weakness,’ He says, as we strain under our burden.
Whatever the burden, it might indeed get worse, but know this-God is faithful. And while we change and get old, He does not. When we get weaker, He remains strong. And in our weakness and humility, He offers us true, lasting, transforming, and undeserved grace.”

-Greg Lucas

Monday, October 25, 2010

Storms of Life

Over the past couple of days, East Texas has experienced some pretty strong storms pass through the area. I am the first to admit that I do not like severe weather. However, each time the clouds start to gather, I find myself standing outside looking toward the heavens trying to catch a glimpse of what lies beyond the clouds.

There are times when we are challenged with storms of life. We are going along with our day to day activities with a picture perfect forecast of bright, sunny days bringing us happiness and contentment. Then storms clouds or situations that cause us great difficulty begin to gather on the horizon. Suddenly, a torrential downpour has caught us by surprise! It's during these times we need to be reminded that HOPE is the perfect life preserver in the midst of any storm. It keeps our head above water, enabling us to fight off feelings of discouragement and despair. It reminds us that help is on the way even if we can't see it yet.
God came through time and time again for people in the Bible. Think of all the times He's come through for us. We know He is always faithful, and that the hope we have in Him is steadfast and immovable. He is our greatest source of hope.
"But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently." Rom.8:25

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seeing God in Everything

I recently returned from a much needed getaway to the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast. I really did not want to leave my family for any length of time because I just knew they couldn't survive without me. However, I was strongly encouraged by many loved ones to take some time away for myself. Time to rest, relax, refocus. I wasn't sure I would go through with it until  last Thursday morning, at six o'clock, when I boarded a plane for a flight to Houston then on to Florida. I was so thankful that traveling went very smooth.
The first stop on the way to the beach front condo in Perdido Key was at one of my favorite places to dine in that area called, "The Shrimp Basket". The weather was gorgeous with a gentle breeze blowing which made lunch out on the deck even more wonderful. Finally, about two o'clock my toes were in the sand! The tranquil turquoise waters of the gulf of Mexico were so calm that the waves barely lapped up on the beach. As I sat in the old blue beach chair, in quiet reflection lulled by the sights and sounds of the ocean, I was awestruck at the beauty and wonder of our Lord. Then as I walked along the shoreline searching for shells, the song "Show me your Glory" by Third Day started going through my mind and I began to sing. The words are "Show me your glory. I want to see your face." Lately I've been discouraged. There has been a spiritual battle raging around me and because of that, life is hard. I was definitely in need a change of perspective so I can see God in everything. I am convinced that Satan wants to keep my perspective in a place where my heart is discouraged and my mind is questioning God. But, God's word calls me to a different action: "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope" Romans 5:3. It was two years ago last week when we received a phone call about adopting Emma. When we told our boys about the opportunity to adopt her, we were all so in tune with saying yes to God and asking for His will to be done that we leaped into the unknown with nothing but His sweet confirmation's that we were doing what He asked us. Looking back, I think we expected everything to be perfect. We were getting a daughter and sister that we had longed for but never expected. We did not know that Emma had special needs until after she was with us for a while, then we realized something was wrong. Has it been easy or without challenge? No. There are days when I say, "Lord, I did not sign up for this!" Or "Lord, I don't understand why this precious baby girl has to go through all she does." I even go so far as to doubt God and question why he would think I could raise her. i'm sure Satan is having a field day! One thing I know for sure is God made Emma for a glorious purpose. She was given as a gift to our family to remind us how much our heavenly father loves us and every time she smiles at me, my heart melts. This has to be how the Lord feels about us, His children, when we have a relationship with Him. I did see His glory in many things while I was at the beach. But, I see Him more clearly in my life. He has blessed me with so much. A godly husband who is a great provider not to mention a really good kisser, precious children that are being raised to walk in the truth, dear friends and family who are willing to sacrifice their time to give me a hand when needed. So, I will rejoice in the good and the bad times because I know God is in everything!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fling It Out!

When  someone does a kindness
That brightens up your day,
When a good friend helps you smile although
Your heart's chock-full of pain...
When a gift comes unexpectedly
To make your spirits rise,
When a little word is said
To put a twinkle in your eye...
Don't forget to fling that kindness
Right back out to someone else.
Send it on with sweet abandon-----
Don't just keep it for yourself.
For joy that's shared is a boomerang.
Each kindness that you do,
Each smile you share, each heart you lift
Flings joy right back to you.

I found this poem in a book that I refer back to time and time again. I was reminded of it when I recieved a phone call from a lady that found my dad's wallet on top of the vacuum  station at a carwash near where he lives. The lady found my name listed as an emergency contact and called me immediately. He had his DL, SS, Credit Cards, and cash in it. You see, there are still good people in the world! She and I became fast friends and a team to try to find him so she could personally return his wallet to him. After several phone calls over a 45 minute time span, she was able to figure out where he lives. As he was backing out of his driveway to go back to the carwash, she was pulling in. I am so very thankful for this wonderful lady who would not take a gift or even a card of thanks for what she did. She only replied, "Honey, this is what the Lord would have us as christians do!" she then said, "Someone has done this for me before and I'm paying it forward. My reward is waiting on the other side." I pray that we will all be like Ms. Carolyn Ordner and "Fling It Out"!

A Matter of the Heart

For many years I have had high blood pressure. The doctors tell me it's in my genetics.  They say a good diet and exercise help control it along with a little pill they prescribe for me to take each day. Well, for the last several months I just haven't been feeling good. At my yearly check up a couple of weeks ago, my blood pressure reading was a concern and I was referred to a cardiologist. My appointment was early yesterday morning (8:00 a.m.) and I was told to arrive at least 10 minutes early, which I did. I went to try to go in the building and it was locked. Went back to my car to call to see if any one would answer. Unfortunately, the answering machine picked up. Mind you, I need my BP to be normal, not elevated! Eventually someone showed up and let me in! While I was signing in I saw this sign "Good morning! This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day!"  I though to myself, "ok Lord I get the messsage, but I don't really like it! However, I know "YOU GOT THIS!" In just a few minutes my name was called to go to a room. While walking down the hallway the male nurse tells me he will be doing my Echocardiogram. He then tells me to strip down "up top" and put on this paper gown with the front open. So being the rule follower that I am, I did! He comes in and does my test then has me walk down the hallway to another room for my EKG while carrying my blouse, bra and purse in one hand and trying to keep "covered" with the other! I should've asked the folks working there and waitng in the lobby to throw me some beads since I was walking around topless!!!!! Isn't that how it's usually done? Flash'em and get beads??? So, the doctor came in and talked with me and told me my BP was normal ( I haven't have any meds since Monday) and my heart looks perfect! He decided to take me off of the medication that I have taken for thirteen years!!!! PTL!
The heart is an interesting subject. Everyone has a heart. Without any direct thought or effort on our part, it keeps right on pumping. A beating heart is essential to life itself. In His word, God speaks about the heart. He refers to it as the center of the person. He says the heart controls the way a person thinks and acts. To keep a heart pumping and healthy, it's a good idea to exercise and eat the right kinds of food. To keep a spiritual heart alive and in rythim with the heart of God, it must be guarded from the diseases sin and indifference bring to it. And most of all, it must be fed and exercised regularly with God's word, prayer and care and concern for others!
"Above all else,guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Call

Our story is unique. It’s not your typical adoption story. There was no adoption agency, no waiting list, no writing letters to prospective birth parents. As a matter of fact we thought our family was complete because God had already blessed us with two wonderful sons. But, He had a different plan!
You know, the Lord puts people in our lives for a purpose. In 2004, our very dear friends adopted a baby girl. They included us in their journey which really touched us as we watched the Lord work through their family and their willingness to follow God’s calling. We even made a comment (thinking it would never happen) that we would consider doing the same thing if the Lord asked us to.

In September 2008, forgetting the comment we had made four years earlier, we received a phone call that would change our lives forever. The same birth mother of our friends little girl had another baby girl that she could not care for. The Lord basically dropped this little angel right in our lap!
A quote from Max Lucado’s book, “God Came Near”, says “Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, hope it is far greater than that. It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction.” That is exactly what happened to our family. We were surprised right out of our socks with a beautiful baby girl named Emma. She was a gift sent from above to our family. We like to say she wasn’t expected but selected. We adopted her because she needed us but we really needed her.

Emma is a happy little girl with a contagious laugh. She can be temperamental at times but can certainly have your wrapped around her little finger before you even realize it! She loves being outdoors, being read to, and her brothers! People are drawn to her by her beauty. They are constantly making comments about her eyes or her hair. I’ve even had people tell me on several occasions that she looks like a living doll. Everyone falls in love with her the minute they see her. Emma has many challenges ahead. She has a genetic brain malformation called “Pachygyria”. She has many developmental delays for which she has therapists who work with her weekly and we know the Lord has a special plan for her life. He is in control and we can trust in a God who knew her before she was knit together in her birth mother’s womb.
The blessing that Emma has brought into our lives is indescribable. From the first phone call we received about her, we asked the Lord for help. In fact, we told Him: “Lord, we can’t believe that you love us so much that you would entrust us with the gift of another child. If this is your plan, we are willing to do what you ask, but we can‘t do this without you!” During this time he has reminded us of many things that we already knew but needed to put into practice such as; trust, patience, humility and grace. Most important: the depth of God’s love. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we may be called children of God. “ 1 John 3:1

Advice to those considering adoption is to spend time preparing your heart for what is ahead. The road will be tough sometimes winding with emotional highs and lows. Remember what God has called you to do and why he called you to do this. He never said it would be easy but He is right there with you through it all. Ask Him to lead you through the process and never loose sight of Him.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

It's a THREE RING CIRCUS around here......

Or at least it feels like it! Sometimes I picture myself as a clown juggling four basketballs while riding a unicycle across a tightrope suspended forty feet above a lake full of alligators. Every day I seem to perform a juggling act as I complete tasks from cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc. Some of the tasks are mindless (and that's good since I seem to have misplaced mine) and I some how juggle with ease. Other times, however, someone throws in a couple of extra balls my way or the unicycle gets a flat. Then it takes more focus to keep everything balanced and moving while trying not to lose sight of what is most important. Despite all the distractions in life along with trials, I'm not sure how I stay focused but I manage to keep  on moving toward the goal. I think at the end of the day all women deserve a big fat standing "O"! For an outstanding "performance" and a job well done.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our Divine Balancing Pole

The pace of life can be so overwhelming. So many needs and demands are placed on women that it's sometimes difficult to remember what's most important in life. We get so involved with day to day  resposibilities that we sometimes forget the big picture. perhaps you feel as if you were placed on this earth to make peanut-butter sandwiches and Kool-Aid. Or that your existence is based on meeting a corporate agenda. Whatever your situation, know this: Everything you do is significant. But it isn't the checkmarks on your "To Do" list that prove your effectiveness. The manner in which you accomplish those tasks is what counts. With each phone call you make and every handshake you deliver, you impact someone's life. With every face you scrub clean, your touch sends a message. Whatever your role in life, determine to let your actions communicate warmth and compassion. When every deed is done from your heart, your life is more than a title or job description. You become an effective ambassador of God's love.