Are You Afraid Of What’s Behind The Door?

Joshua

Karen recently watched all five of Katie’s kids by herself (whew!!!!)  She has no idea how Katie does it.  Karen felt like a mama dog with fourteen hungry pups and only eight nipples.

In the midst of juggling the needs of the kids, Joshua, the youngest boy pleaded with his grandma to wait in the bathroom with him while he did his thing.  Now he has no problem going at his own home without supervision, so she asked why his reluctance to fly solo at our house.

“When I shut the door, there’s a lady looking at me,” was his reply.  Karen shut the door and Joshy pointed to the plaque I have hanging on the wall, behind the open door.  Staring down at him is an early 20th century young woman advertising Coca Cola.  I guess he really values his privacy and doesn’t want anyone observing his business.

Aren’t we all a little like Joshua?  He’s embarrassed to leave the door open, but also afraid to shut the door and expose himself to that creepy Coca Cola lady.  We leave the door to our life open just enough to let others see what we want them to see.  Eventually we shut that door to the outside world and hope no one will find out who we really are.  But behind all our doors is someone far more dangerous than an ill-advised placement of a Coca Cola plaque.

Satan is behind the door you close to the outside world.  He resides in darkness and is behind every evil thought, every evil action and is always all too willing to help you condemn  yourself.   “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:10

God on the other hand never hides behind doors and He doesn’t want you to either.  He carefully and lovingly created you, not for you to hide from Him and others because you make a few mistakes.  God wants you to be real with Him.    King David longed for this kind of relationship with God and wrote about it in Psalm 139: 1-18.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.  You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake, I am still with you.”

For now Karen and I are going to leave up the picture of the Coca Cola lady in our guest bathroom.  Karen was able to share truth with him and he felt better.  This situation was just one of many opportunities we will have with our grandchildren to share the love of God.  If you haven’t already, open the door to your heart to God today.  He’s waiting with open arms.

 

 

“Love Intentionally”

Papa (Terry) and I had the privilege of having our five grandchildren (ages 2-11) over for a couple of nights this last weekend.  I’m still recovering! Whew…it was fun and crazy…it kind of reminded me of going down a waterslide…at times a little overwhelming (thoughts were–yikes, why are we doing this?) but fun at the same time.

We played a lot of games: Old Maid, What’s Yours Like, Life, The Train Game, and Quick Cups to name a few.  Terry made his famous Papa’s Pancakes.   I made some yummy smoothies, molasses muffins, and popcorn.   We went to a country store and saw bunnies,  piglets, baby chicks, and a baby goat.   We bought a plant to begin a fairy garden.  But mainly we made memories.

I pray for and desire to intentionally love all of my grandchildren.   It  may be a phone call to just say “hello, I love you” to the ones who sadly live far away.  Sometimes it’s a surprise package to them in the mail or  spontaneous face time on the phone or computer.

This week, I called  my granddaughter, Brooklyn, who just graduated from kindergarten.  She lives in Washington so I wasn’t able to be there to cheer her on.  My daughter sent a video of her graduation, though.  The teacher asks each student as they graduate, what they want to be when they grow up.  Brooklyn stated “a hairdresser”.   I told her she could fix my hair when she became a hairdresser.  She said, “Ok!  Ama, what color do you want your hair?” I said hesitantly, “maybe white”?   She declared, ” I think pink, Ama!”.   Oh boy, I’m in trouble!!!!!

What memories are you making with your children or grandchildren?  Do they know you love them and actually delight in them?  What do you do to show them love?

ISV  Zephaniah 3:17  “The Lord your God among you is powerful.  He will save and will take joyful delight in you.  In His love He will renew you with His love, He will celebrate with singing because of you.

If you would like to automatically receive our blog posts, just fill out the information below to belong to the Desire To Inspire family.

 

 

Does Your Belief Necessarily Make It True?

We had a wonderful week when our daughter Jaymi, son in law Matt  and three grandchildren, Logan, Maya and Brooklyn, came to visit us in Florida on Spring Break.  Katie, our oldest daughter, and Jaymi are great planners and had the whole week scheduled with fun activities.  My Ama heart was full!!

The day before they flew back to  Washington, Terry wanted to go out to lunch with them at his favorite restaurant, Cheddars.  The food is yummy and tastes homemade.  Their croissants  are worth going off a gluten free diet for.  Terry was most excited to share his favorite fudge cake with them at the end of our meal.  So when the waiter brought out the dessert, including seven spoons, everyone was eager to dive in.  Logan took the first bite and surprisingly said, “Yuck.” Brooklyn took the cherry on top and was happy.  Matt took the next bite and shockingly said “There’s something wrong with the sauce.” Terry  was enjoying every bite totally ignoring their negative reactions.

I decided to listen to their dismay and stuck my finger in the sauce…it tasted like barbecue sauce.  I  motioned for the waiter to come over and told him, there was something very wrong with the dessert.  The  chocolate sauce tasted more like barbecue sauce.  He politely corrected us and proudly said, “That’s our special caramel sauce.”  We all disagreed (except maybe Terry) but our waiter skeptically took it back to the kitchen and had it checked out.  We looked at the menu and the fudge cake pictured didn’t seem to show caramel sauce on it …. just chocolate.  Moments later the manager of the restaurant came to our table and apologized for the mistake.  The truth was the barbecue sauce was placed along side of the dessert toppings and the fudge cake was mistakenly doused with it instead.  The saddest part was, that the barbecued flavored slice was their last piece.  So the Lee’s are going to have to wait until their next visit to enjoy a piece of Terry’s favorite dessert.

Just because our waiter didn’t believe it was barbecue sauce, didn’t change the truth that it was.  Truth…What is truth?  The dictionary says it’s the quality or state of being true.  The waiter believed us once he and the chef tasted it for themselves.   That was a minor mistake (well, maybe not so minor to Terry) but it is a reminder to me, just because I don’t believe something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

The Bible is the Word of God and is TRUTH.  Whether we believe it or not, doesn’t change the Truth.  Jesus says “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  And John 3:16-18 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.   For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son”.

Matthew 24:35-42 ” Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

I for one, am looking forward to Christ’s return.  I pray for and  am burdened for  friends and family who haven’t put their trust in Jesus, yet.

If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, may I encourage you today to seek the Truth, to CHEWS JESUS…Taste and See That the Lord is Good!

 

 

What Have You Been Learning Lately?

Have you ever prayed, Lord if you want us to move, please move us swiftly? I don’t recommend it unless you are up for the challenge. Wowza! These last four months have been a whirlwind. When Terry and I thought about selling our house I prayed that very prayer. I regretted praying it a few times but mostly I am thankful for the journey God has us on.

Sorry I have not blogged for quite a while, but we are living out of our suitcases, temporarily residing at our daughter and son-in-law’s home in Florida with our five precious grandchildren. As I’m typing this, the house is filled with five loud, competing voices and numerous interruptions…I’m not used to this level of chaos any more. Oh my goodness, I never thought I would forget how busy a mother of preschoolers is. It’s non-stop. It’s all good, but exhausting. Thankful to be making memories with the grandkids but we are looking forward to moving into our own home and having more control over the noise level.

I thought I would write this blog and update you on the journey this far…if I can concentrate long enough between the interruptions…

December 22 was the closing date on our home. Our house needed to be cleaned out and cleaned up by that date. The weeks before were crazy and surreal. We had a moving/garage sale, Terry put our Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving and celebrated Christmas early with our son and daughter-in-law and grandkids from Arizona. We then helped put on a surprise party for my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday on Thanksgiving, celebrated Christmas again with our daughter Jaymi and her family by preparing another turkey dinner and all of the trimmings. I sold items on Buy, Sell & Swap, said goodbye to lifetime friends, cousins and family…and the list goes on and on. We couldn’t have done it without help: some of our sweet church ladies, my sister and brother-in -law, who helped pack up my kitchen, the day of the move, Terry’s brother, Garry, came over and helped him take a mountain of unwanted items to the dump. My mother-in-law helped me do one final mopping of a bedroom and living room that I hadn’t had time to get to. Jaymi, our daughter was a life saver and helped me organize my creative chaos. I purged 39 years of living into one moving POD. We stuffed our suitcases and personal items into our Camry, leaving only enough room for our sweet senior golden retriever, Molly…and said goodbye to Stanwood.
When I had some alone time, I took a few minutes the day of the move and reflected back on some of the memories and life we had experienced in our home. I think I was too exhausted to cry. I mostly reflected back on God’s faithfulness to us and I walked throughout each room singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Praising God for all of the life and blessings He bestowed upon us in the past 39 years and looking forward to what He had in store for us.

The first night of our journey began by staying with Terry’s sister and brother-in-law in the Castle Rock area. We loved visiting with them and seeing their beautiful, newly built
home. We were loved on and spoiled with their hospitality. Medford, Oregon was our destination for the next day. Fresno, California was next and we stayed two nights there because of Christmas. Our next stop: Surprise, Arizona where our dear friends, Marilu and Norm, invited us to stay with them. They also spoiled us with yummy homecooked meals and fun fellowship. Terry came down with a bad sinus infection and needed more rest more before driving on, so we stayed three nights at their home. I felt bad Terry was sick, but I sure enjoyed the extra time with Norm & Marilu.

Next we drove to Fort Stockton, Texas. When we arrived, I felt feverish, achy and had a sore throat. The next day, I felt sicker and went to a walk-in. My diagnosis—type A influenza. The doctor told me to go home and stay in bed. We drove to San Antonio and stayed a few days because influenza was not something I wanted to share with Katie, Jason and their family. The rest of the road trip was sort of a blur–Terry listened to a book on tape and I tried to ignore it–it was about lobotomies, of all things. My head felt like it just went through a lobotomy.

We arrived at Katie’s on Jason’s birthday on January 4. We were greeted with five happy grandkids throwing indoor snowballs at us.

So, what have I learned since leaving our home in Stanwood, Washington? Let me name a few very random things…

Our possessions are just temporary things. I dare you to purge your possessions into one 8 X 16 foot storage pod. It’s quite fun…NOT!!!

When, our golden retriever, Molly was intensely panting in the backseat of our car–she wasn’t going to die–it’s her way of calming her body down.

When driving in Florida, if your husband suddenly pulls in front of a large truck, do not wind down your window to listen to what the truck driver has to say.

When you have lived all of your life in one place and you are directionally challenged–do not expect to know North from South and East from West when you move.

I’ve also learned that when Terry gets too hot, he gets crabby. When I get too hot, I get easily annoyed. Not a great combo…And this is only winter time in Florida. The best is yet to come.

I’m learning that God never ceases to amaze me…the first Sunday we were in Florida, we attended our son-in-law’s church he is the pastor of, one of first hymns we sung was Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

Mostly, I’m thankful to God for this journey we are on. Thankful for family. Everyday we learn something new. I’m learning more of God’s Word and His love and grace for me.

What are you learning these days?

Until Next Time—I’m Chewsing To Trust the Lord!!! Hope you are too!

CHEWS JESUS–Taste and see that the Lord is good!.

When Our Best Laid Plans Are Not God’s Plans

Papa with Daniel and Maya

Do you ever make plans only to see them blown to smithereens before your very eyes?  Of course you have; everyone has unless you’re Jesus, which you’re not because you can’t walk on water, raise the dead and aren’t preparing for you own crucifixion.  Best laid plans have a tendency to go up in smoke faster than a book of matches in the hands of a curious five-year-old boy.

Case in point:  For a long time, Karen and I have wanted to put our house, which has been our home for 39 years, up for sale.  Oh, we tried selling  our home twice before, but it  garnered as much interest as a leper selling  hour-long massages for $5.00.   You see, we live in a flood plain.  The Stillaguamish River slithers through our neighborhood like a thirsty snake.  When el Nino decides to visit the Pacific Ocean, his jet stream carries a warm, atmospheric river of rain from Hawaii toward Washington.  The Stillaguamish gorges herself on all the melting snow until her sides burst open and flood the land with the contents of her swollen belly.

So over the years whenever we tried to sell our home, potential buyers would look at the snake coiled around three sides of our neighborhood and say, “Thanks but no thanks.”

Twice, plans to sell our home were dampened by the specter of a snake with a leaky belly.  The list of reasons Karen and I wanted to move grew longer with each passing winter.  At first, Karen and I were mostly concerned about what would happen if the “Big One” shook our vulnerable house built on sand.  As we both have gone through physical affliction the past few years, we realize how much more difficult it’s going to get to take care of our home and continually walk up and down the two-flights of stairs.

Then this past year many of our friends are beginning to retire.  Over the years, I cashed in two 401 K’s to pay for medical and dental expenses and to pay the bills during three separate job loses.  Retirement for me was not going to happen any time soon.

Then our son-in-law Jason, half-jokingly suggested we move to Florida.  He pastors a church in a town called Leesburg, about 40 miles north of Orlando…home of the happiest place on earth.  He said the cost of living was much less than that of Washington, especially the housing.

So on a whim, Karen and I began to look on the internet for retirement communities in and around Leesburg.  Our jaws dropped when we saw beautiful  1,500 square foot homes selling for $110 to $140,000.  The 55 and over communities looked like vacation resorts sporting swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts and too many other amenities to mention here.

Wow!!!!  There were more retirement communities in Florida than Starbucks stores in Seattle.

What began as a fun way to pass time soon became a spark igniting a flame of passion for the idea of moving to Florida.  The passion grew every time we bundled up to take our Golden Retriever Molly for a walk in rain and 40 degree weather.  But just as the dreary gloom of a winter in Washington can drain the life out of many, the thought of leaving our family,  friends and the only town we’ve ever known would dampen our enthusiasm.  It was especially hard to think about leaving my aging mother and our Daughter Jaymi, her husband Matt and their three kids who we are very close to.

Like a  roller coaster, our emotions took us on a wild ride.  I’ve heard it said that the hardest part about making a decision is indecision.  Finally, Karen prayed that if we would put our house up for sale, we would know it was God’s will if it would sell in a week.  From past experience, I figured it would take a miracle for her prayer to be answered.  We called a real estate agent, put our home up for sale one morning and had six showings that day and had four offers the next morning.

Thank you God for your patience.  We sold our home for $270,000…$101,000 more than what we previously had asked for it twice before.  God knew to hold off the sale until the housing market was red hot in Western Washington.

I am writing this blog from a hotel room in Tallahassee, Florida.  Karen and I are on our last pit stop before arriving in Leesburg, Florida tomorrow afternoon where we will be greeted by our oldest Daughter Katie, her husband Jason and their 5 children.  It will be a bittersweet reunion because while we now will be able to enjoy the company of this family, we know the sadness of leaving other family members behind.

The journey leading up to today is worthy of a blog post all unto itself which I will write at a later time.  Until then remember this:  If God seems to be throwing a monkey wrench into some of your best laid out plans don’t get frustrated…He may just be saving you from a $100,000 mistake.

[ninja_form id=4]

 

It’s Been A Remarkable 40 Years!!!

1977….Wow!  A lot of things happened 40 years ago:

  1. Elvis Presley performed in his last concert in June and died in his home in Memphis, two months later.
  2. Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President.
  3. Fleetwood Mac released their Rumours album.
  4. Led Zeppelin played in their last USA concert.
  5. Rocky won an Oscar for best picture.
  6. Karen Lund and Terry Carlson got married.

Many more things happened over the next 40 years:

  1. In 1980, not only did Mt. Saint Helens erupt but my beautiful bride also erupted, giving birth to our first child…Katie Lee.
  2. Dianna wasn’t the only princess to capture the hearts of millions around the world when she married Prince Charles in 1981.  Jaymi Marie was born capturing the hearts of both her parents.
  3. In 1982 the Epcot theme park opens in Disney World and Karen and I open our heart to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
  4. M*A*S*H* the T.V. series ends in 1983 after 11 seasons and 251 episodes.  Karen is instrumental in bringing the MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) program to Camano Chapel which has successfully lasted for 34 years & counting.  MOPS has encouraged and inspired tens of thousands of mothers around the world with Godly insight.
  5. In 1984, Michael Jackson moonwalked for the first time at the MTV music awards.  That was nothing compared to the entrance our son, Michael Keith, made as he burst onto the scene in September of that year.
  6. March 18, 1990 – The largest art theft in U.S. history occurs in Boston, Massachusetts, when two thieves posing as policemen abscond twelve paintings worth an estimated $100-200 million from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  In November of 1990 a hundred-year flood swallowed up our home.  We didn’t return to our home until December of 1991.  Our kids thought it was a big adventure and still, to this day, remember that year as having the best memories of their childhood.
  7. Bill Clinton became President in 1992 and Karen became very sick.  After many tests, a dentist discovers she has mercury poisoning.  She has to quit her ministry with MOPS and begins a long and painful journey down the road of dental procedures and chronic pain.
  8. Between 1989 and 2002, Nintendo begins selling the Gameboy, U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years and Charles M. Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip passed away.  Also during that time, Karen and I coach and attend many basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis games and matches and school plays; participate in and plan many field trips, birthday parties, sleep-overs and Camano Chapel youth group functions.  We cry as we  watch Katie, Jaymi and Michael graduate from High School and begin college.
  9. Between 2002 and 2017, the final episode of Friends appears on NBC, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster in the gulf of Mexico leaves gulf beaches / fishing and the shellfish industry reeling, and Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.  Also, Katie, Jaymi and Michael marry Jason, Matt and Signe.  Our grandkids: Logan, Caleb, Jacob, Maya, Jonathan, Brooklyn, Joshua, Esther, Hannah and Daniel are born.  Karen and I both publish two books and today Karen and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

Thank you Karen for 40 wonderful years of marriage.  Your the best!

[ninja_form id=4]

Don’t Be Shy – Use Your Talents, Don’t Bury Them

This past Sunday in church,  our four-year old granddaughter, Brooklyn, walked in with her family wearing leopard print eye-glasses.  They were adorable on her but I didn’t know she was needing to wear glasses.  She proudly walked down the row of seats to where Karen and I were sitting and said, “Papa!  I now have glasses just like you!”  Throughout the worship time I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  She looked so darn cute in them.

Between songs Jaymi, Brooklyn’s mommy, leaned over to me and whispered in my ear.  “Dad, those aren’t real glasses.  This morning, Brooklyn told me she wanted to wear her pretend glasses to church.  I asked her why, and she said they were her singing glasses.”

I wish I had singing glasses that really work.  I don’t have confidence in my singing.  While trying to make a joyful noise during worship, I’m afraid others around me will mistake it for an awful noise.  My mother was sitting next to me in church and after the service complimented me on my singing.  But isn’t that what mother’s are supposed to do?  Aren’t they notorious for giving undeserved praise to their children?

Anyway, I know God didn’t bless me with an awesome singing voice.  Maybe I’ll get new vocal cords when I get to Heaven.  But until then, I’ll continue to sing the best I can and know God doesn’t mind.  To Him, I sound like Frank Sinatra.

God has blessed each of us though with certain gifts and abilities.  God gave me the gift of creativity.  I love to write, take pictures, draw and create.  I’ve even learned how to take these talents and use them to glorify God by helping others with my gifts.

Karen and I developed our ministry, Desire To Inspire, with 1 Peter 4:10 in mind. 

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.”

Our goal is to encourage people to use their God given gifts to glorify God.  We are not focusing on the spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues or Prophecy.  We want to focus on God given talents, such as hospitality, empathy, teaching, serving, giving, encouraging and so on.  In Matthew 25, Jesus gives the parable of the talents.  The talents Jesus uses as an example in this parable not only represents a denomination of currency but also the opportunity each servant had in using his God given talents to help his Master.  Two servants used the resourcefulness God had blessed them with, the 3rd did not.

Are you using your God given gifts to help others or do you have undeveloped talents and abilities just waiting for you to tap into?   Just like the three servants in the parable, God wants us to use our gifts and not bury them.  God can even use us when we don’t have confidence in our abilities.  Remember, Moses told God that he couldn’t speak well enough to confront Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  God used a few fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a cupbearer, sheep herders, and others not educated in journalism or creative writing to author the sixty-six books of the Bible.

While borrowing Brooklyn’s “singing glasses” unfortunately won’t help me sing any better, seeing the world through God’s eyes will bring into sharp focus the need to use our special talents so we can be the image bearers of Jesus.

In The Game Of Life Do You Ever Want A Do Over?

Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?  I mean that literally. From my years of dental procedures, I’m learning the importance of an aligned bite.  If the bite isn’t right, you are in pain.  The jaw bone is connected to the neck bone.  If the joints in the jaw aren’t happy, the neck isn’t happy.  If the neck isn’t happy, the brain isn’t happy.  When the brain isn’t happy you have major depressive disorder.  When you have major depressive disorder, you struggle to push through every day.  You wish you could get away from the pain and you try to not focus on yourself, but chronic pain is relentless, day in and day out.  Everything is an effort.  Comfort food is no longer a comfort.

When people ask how I’m doing, what should I say?  The polite but dishonest answer is, “Fine!”  Am I truthful and go into how badly I feel?  I guess it depends on who is asking the question.

Terry and I played The Game of Life with the grandkids one night.  Our grandson, Logan, chose to take the shorter route to begin the game and soon discovered that he should have taken the longer route to get his career.  His sister, Maya, took the long route and was rewarded with a higher income than Logan.  He wanted a do over.  He made us laugh and we gave him a do over.

I want a do over with my mouth.  I would have brushed my teeth three times a day and ate a lot less sugar.  Dental floss would have been my best friend.  This may have helped some, but inherently and genetically, bad teeth run in my family.

When Terry was a little boy, he wanted to be a dentist when he grew up.  I think God was trying to warn and prepare him for being married to me.  He should have listened.  I told him, he should have looked in my mouth and checked out my teeth before deciding to marry me.  His answer was very sweet!  He said, “You never look a gift horse in the mouth.  And you are a gift from God to me.”

I think if we are honest, we would all like a do over in one area or another in our lives.  We live in a broken world with frail human bodies that aren’t as perfect as we want them to be.  I think we all have an ideal picture of what our lives should be like…then real life happens.

For years I carried false guilt around I wasn’t meant to carry.   I used to believe God was mad at me for being undisciplined so He punished me with pain.  Oh I tried so hard to be disciplined enough to win back His favor so I could become healthy once more.  Even though discipline can be a good thing, it didn’t change my heart.  I continued to judge myself under my standard of thinking, believing they were God’s standards.

As a child, I perceived being weak as a bad thing.  I believed I had to be strong emotionally and physically to be loved.  I compared myself to others (it came as natural as breathing) and I always came up less than.  I played it well and appeared to lead a disciplined life.  On the outside everyone thought I was a good girl — but internally, I was as rebellious as they come.  I threw away the lock and key on the inside of my heart.  I couldn’t escape the shame and ugliness I felt, believing no one could understand, connect with, or love me if they really knew what was inside.  Over the course of many years, I discovered I could never be disciplined enough or do enough to win God’s favor.

For now, physical pain is my constant companion but false guilt doesn’t need to be.  Pain and suffering is a direct result of our fallen world.  I can’t control that.  False guilt is Satan’s way of distracting me from being all I can be in Christ.  I can control that by understanding and applying what God tells me through his Word.

                                             GOD SAYS TO US…

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”   2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”   Ephesians 2: 8-9

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5: 17

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:1

 

WOW MOM –It’s Mother’s Day

Today our four year old granddaughter, Brooklyn, was over and we were coloring with markers.  She has been introduced to the alphabet by her older sister, Maya, and asked me to write the letter M.  I wrote MOM, turned it upside down, and showed her it said WOW.  Brooklyn was impressed.  Whatever season of life of motherhood you may be in, may you feel WOW–CELEBRATED and LOVED!!!

I didn’t appreciate my mom until I grew up and became one myself.  One Mother’s Day, when I was a child, I asked my mom, “Why is there a Mother’s Day and there isn’t a children’s day to celebrate me”?  I didn’t like her response then, but it makes me smile today…she said “Everyday is children’s day”.

WOW–what a privilege and responsibility it is to be a MOM.  God has entrusted and gifted you in such a way to love, nurture, and raise the children He has blessed you with.  Is being a mom easy?  Absolutely not.     Becoming a mom is a life changer…On the job training, requires multi tasking of various responsibilities which include managing a household, organizing a budget and show casing your culinary expertise (or lack there of).

Whatever season of life and MOM-hood you are in, take time to enjoy!  Being a mother is more like a marathon than a sprint!  I hope you realize how much God loves you this Mother’s Day.  If you are a mother of a preschooler and feel like you are in this season alone, get connected with a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group.  http://www.mops.org/

WOW MOM!!!  To each of you Mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day or Happy “WOW MOM Day”!

After, I wrote this blog, I found this video clip which hopefully will encourage you and cheer you on.

[ninja_form id=4

 

 

 

 

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING FOR?

Have you ever thought about the word “Hope”?  I decided to look it up and get the dictionary’s meaning of Hope.  Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  A feeling of trust.  Also as a verb it means to want something to happen.  We all need hope.

What are you hoping for?  For me, I’m hoping winter will soon be behind us and for a sunny spring to arrive “tonow” (My granddaughter Esther’s favorite saying when she wants something today, not tomorrow).  I am also hoping to have my chronic pain subside after my dental implants heal and I eventually will be able to chew with no pain.

We all have things we actively or passively hope for.  Some things are more important than others.  Hopeful for things to come; some things are short lived and temporal and truly aren’t too significant in the light of eternity.

Regardless of our circumstances now on earth, the Bible tells us where we can find eternal, CERTAIN HOPE.  Hope based on eternity, not on things of this world.   This world is temporal.  1 John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

The Bible is clear in whom our hope needs to be placed.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son.  He is our Hope, not only on this earth but our hope, OUR CERTAIN HOPE, for eternity.

[ninja_form id=4]