Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Before it is too late

When we're reminded of how fragile life really is, it might be in our nature to refocus your attention on the big things. For me, recently, I've become more aware of the little things. The simple daily blessings that God pours out His love to us in, like the sunrise, the clouds, the trees swaying in the wind. Sometimes I am so "busy" in life that I miss it. God put so much beauty in this world he created. Even in the taste and textures of food or the sounds of birds or children laughing we can find His Hand. So much more I should appreciate while I still can! One day it will be too late. There is no maybe in that statement. It's a fact. One day I won't get to kiss my husband ever again. One day I won't get to hold my babies in my arms and love them up. There will be a day that comes where I am so consumed by the pain of a great loss that I will feel like I'm dying. But there will also come a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears.-Jeremy Camp
Then it really will be too late. Too late to tell someone how much they mean to me, how much I love them. Too late to share the gospel..
A day like today, where nothing is going on, nothing has me "busy" and I've just been home with my precious children - is a day I should hold tight to and cherish. They are rare. It's the little things that make up a life even if it is the big things that stand out. I must seize every moment.. before it is too late.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Free to Love

Pain is inevitable in this life. It is a broken world we live in and we will all have more than our fair share of pain that much is for certain. Take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Think of your life, your whole life, like you are 80 years old and looking back. Is what you're dealing with now even going to be remembered then? Will any of this even matter?
Perspective is so important when we face hard times. It's so easy to be consumed by the little things that are making life difficult for us in the present moment. Yet, what if I told you that tomorrow you would lose a loved one? How consumed would you be now? What really matters besides people, your relationships? Nothing. What really matters besides salvation? Nothing.
I know that you may feel hurt, betrayed, heartbroken at the moment, but still I tell you to let it go. Forgive. It's the only way. God has shown us how to forgive. He forgives you so that you may in turn, forgive others. Think of the things you've done, mistakes you've made, people you've hurt. How can you not forgive others for what's been done to you? Are you so much more important than anyone else on the planet? Is your pain so much greater?
Humans are so self-centered, so selfish, so thoughtless.. how can we not hurt one another from time to time? It's impossible not to. The important thing is to love deeply, and big and to let that love show! 
"Above all, love each other deeply, because Love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8 
"Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs." Prov 10:12
Holding on to your pain just makes you bitter and robs you of the JOY God intended you to have. Hold on instead to God's faithfulness. He is the true righteous judge and He will take care of all things. He is our vindicator. We are free to love without holding back. We are free to open our hearts, to be vulnerable, to give without thought of reciprocation. We don't have to keep score of the offenses against us. We don't have to worry about revenge! We are truly F R E E ! We should love that freedom! We don't need to worry about how others treat us! God releases us from all of that. What a gift!
Thank you Father, for the gift of forgiveness, mercy and grace. I pray that I would not hold grudges but instead free myself from pain by releasing it's hold on me. Thank you for giving me such freedom as you work things out to the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose. I know you are the one in control and I praise you for that! Amen

Pictures from Shannon

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Tonight my lil Superhero listened carefully to me reading the Christmas story from my Bible. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he started asking the difficult questions. "Mom! Why is there some guy in a red suit goin' around everywhere! What does that have to do with Jesus being born?" I wish I had an easy answer for that one. I don't like fooling the kids with the whole Santa deal. I never have. I remember being excited for Christmas but it never had anything to do with Santa Claus. I was excited for the fun time with family and the traditions and of course, the FOOD! Ha! 
My son is much like me, a skeptic. He just frowned at my weak answer of -I don't really know when Santa came into the picture. I've always tried to keep the focus on our Savior rather than commercialism, but I also don't want to take away the innocence of their childhood. 
Tomorrow when they wake up, Santa will have visited our house and left goodies in their stockings, but nothing too good. I'm not about to let some fictional fat dude in a red suit get the credit for how hard I worked to make their Christmas special! The good gifts are always from family! I'll keep the spirit of Santa.. magical and mysterious, but I'm not letting that get in the way of what Christmas really means to us.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 
"Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FIve years of Friendship

The 5th Annual Ladiez Christmas Party was this weekend. My sister-in-law hosted it this year and it was just perfect. As usual, we had tons and tons of food, laughter & pictures!
We had decided to order everyone a pair of TOMS this Christmas for our gift exchange. Since many of us already had a pair of canvas ones, we bought glitters for the holidays.
So much has happened in the five years that we've been together. We've gained a few and lost a few. There have been some major life changes for many of us, and even some of the relationships within the group have changed.
But one thing that hasn't changed is we always have such a good time when we are together! 

30 Days to Understanding the Bible

Ever felt frustrated with trying to read the Bible? Maybe you set your New Year's Resolution and quickly found that from starting in...