Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘Family’

Family

Yesterday, we got together with my side of the family as a “reunion” of sorts to commemorate one year since my Daddy passed away and to support my Mom.

The last time we got together like this was in February, 2011, when he died.

We went through a very painful week together at Hospice and we formed some bonds that will always remain.

Yesterday was a joyous ocassion. Daddy is in heaven.  We celebrated with a spread of food that was amazing.  We enjoyed sharing supplement tips, organic food and dieting ideas.  The men sat in the living room and the ocassional pieces that I caught from their conversation involved hunting or politics. Yawn. lol

The women, on the other hand, were having a blast.  My Aunt Pam is famous for her pranks and relished retelling the story of some poor victim who never suspected a thing.  Her daughter, Julie, was in the thick of it with her.  The men got curious because we were laughing so hard, they wanted in on our conversation.  Even after telling the event twice, I was still overflowing with laughter.  You know why?  Because it was so “unconventional.”  It was a fart prank she played on a massage guy at the mall with a can of flarp she got at the Dollar store.   We were telling stories about farting that were hysterical.  We let our “hair” down and had a blast.

I love it when you can be yourself with family and not put up pretenses.

My sister had just come back from a missions trip to the Philipines so I got to see pictures and videos she took while there.  The cultural differences were amazing.  The people were open, welcoming and very attentive.  Even having to stand at assemblies, the children at school were focused.  If that were in America, the kids would be complaining, whispering and distracted.

Another thing that amazed me was that we could go over to another country and share the gospel at schools without issue.  Over half the kids in each assembly raised their hands to accept Christ as their Savior.  Here in America, they are pushing God out of schools. Sad, sad, sad.

I really, really enjoyed spending the day with my family yesterday.  I almost didn’t want to leave.  Some days I wish I didn’t live an hour away from my Mom but every time I have to go into Savannah, I thank God that I don’t live there anymore.  I love living out in the “country.”

My Aunt Lynn gave my Mom a GPS, so maybe she’ll come visit me sometime.  🙂

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Slow and Steady

November 12, 2011 – – – – I can fit in to my size 22 jeans!!!  WooHoo!  2 months, 2 sizes down.  Praise God!  To God alone be the glory!!! In my brokenness physically, I could not have done this.  It’s all Him!!

November 14, 2011 – – Got up and did my first day of the Bible study of James with Beth Moore. Not connecting yet but I know I’ll get there.

Work was crazy busy today. So busy, I ate cold steak and worked at the same time. What a mess!  My left leg kept feeling like it was being pulled out of joint again because I was getting up and down and up and down and up and down out of my chair.  Couldn’t wait to get off work and out of that chair!

November 15, 2011 – – – Today’s Bible study left me with some meat to chew on.  I love these studies!

Went to see Dr. Hamby today and explained about the leg issue.  He told me that all of the leg joint muscles are trying to compensate for the inflamed sciatic nerve and when one gets out of whack, it messes all of them up. It is basically a muscle spasm.  Makes so much sense. So when it happened again today, and I stood up, I waited for the spasm to ease, then went on.

November 18, 2011—Still down about Marlboro Man. He is disagreeable, argumentative and defensive about everything.  I wish there was something I could do but he switches on and off like a switch.  All I can do is pray.  Realized looking back that it had to do with medications during and after surgery that affected his mood. But for the time being, I had a hard time focusing on Bible study this morning because I couldn’t seem to pick myself up, my heart was just heavy.

I just realized that I’ve been going a few nights without pain in my leg!!!  I can walk without limping for the most part. I just have to walk slowly.

Slowly.  It’s getting there…gradually. Thank you, Lord!

 

 

The Trials of Life

October 28, 2011 – – Slept well last night—in my little bed.  I just love snuggling up with great covers and a comfy mattress.  Got up at 5:30, hit the floor running.  Ate sausage, took my meds, got a shower, washed dark clothes and headed out the door to get Hallmark Man from the hospital so I could get a full day’s work in.  About that time, my daughter called and said she was at the ER  She said her chest is hurting real bad and is barking and coughing.  She sat at the ER  from 5:30 to 8:45 and they are still moving her down the list.  She should have gone to a different ER.  My son has a hole in his ear drum from rough-housing with a friend.  You’d think he’d learn.  I guess I did too much with my leg because the interior groin area started hurting real, real bad. Even with the cane, it didn’t help much. Took a hydrocodone and am sitting on ice pack before I have to go get Hallmark Man’s medicine.

My only concern is not being able to pay bills this payday.  We have to eat. I don’t know what to do about the cable bill.

I made 28 hours this week. Woo…

I had to leave after an hour at work today to take Lindsay to the ER for bronchitis and upper respiratory infection, get her Rx filled and take her back home.  Worked a whole 4 hours today.

Had to go to Kroger, Tractor Supply, Walgreens, Parkers and then Guyton Grill before I could settle in at home.  I am ready for the weekend to relax! This whole roller coaster of trials and turbulence is wearing me out.

October 29, 2011 – – – I slept until 10 this morning, not all the way through the night.  I did get up numerous times to pee, as usual.  It was nice to stay in bed. I really didn’t want to get up at all.  Hallmark Man was up, watching TV and it was cloudy and had rained outside.  I couldn’t think of a reason to get up.

I decided to fast until dinner.  I cleaned out the bird feeder and got them some fresh food and then went into the bedroom to do my Bible study video.  I got two phone calls from my son.  He and his wife are buying a house. They just got pre-approved for $80k and want me to go house hunting with them tomorrow.  They are looking in Guyton so my Mom is coming, too.  Being this close to my house, I’m sure she’ll want to see it so I figured I needed to clean up some.

I slowly started by trimming the Indian blankets, grabbing the mail, sweeping the porch, watering the plants, vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, Louis’ room, cleaning the counters, bathing the dog, etc etc.  It seemed like the more I did, the more needed to be done.

I finally sat down and ate spaghetti with Hallmark Man and cleaned the kitchen again.  Finally sat down around 6:15 with an ice pack for my back.  I’ve got two more loads going in the washer/dryer.  Lord give me strength!

I am ready for bed.  As I am glancing at the TV commercials, I can’t believe Christmas commercials are already on.  Geez….

I got a text that we are supposed to have a frost in the morning so I had to run out and grab the hanging baskets and bring them in.

I am finding myself tired and not liking Facebook anymore. Tired of the games and blocking most of them.  Not really being on it for a week while Hallmark Man was in the hospital broke me from it and I just realize there is more to life than playing on the computer.

How many parties do you have?

Hunger turned into anger as I stomped through the house last night. No meat. No veggies. No eggs. Basically, nothing to cook. I was eating Ritz crackers and ready to cry. No money either. Finally, I thought of something we could eat: pancakes! We had some mix in the refrigerator. My son graciously cooked them for us and as I sat down to eat, he mentioned that he had the heat on a little to high. I didn’t care as I scarfed them down.

After eating, I glanced at the clock and realized that I was going to be late for our Wednesday night prayer meeting. I ran into the bedroom and quickly changed clothes, brushed my teeth and ran some gel through my hair. “This will have to do.” I thought.  “No make up.  I’m gonna be a scary sight tonight.  Oh well…” 

Driving to church, only ten minutes away, seemed to take forever and I felt like an elephant had sat on my heart.  It was heavy.  I fought tears. I prayed.  “Lord, we are drowning!” 

I came into the back of the chapel as they were singing the last song and was prepared to sit alone.  I wanted to be alone, to sulk, pout and have a pity party alone.  But, my friends saw me come in and called me to their table.  Darn! 

I sat down in that chair as tense as could be and as we sang, I again fought tears.  I took the words of the song, taken from Psalms 119, and put them to use.  “Not to us, but to Your Name be the glory…”   I was not in that church for me, I was there to glorify His name.  The tears that were welling inside, came to an abrupt halt and my spirit lifted as I sang to honor Him. The One who gave His life for mine.

After the message, prayer requests were lifted and our table talked about issues we had and I listened intently as I heard heartache after heartache lifted to God.  One woman was in a bad car accident on Christmas day and lost her daughter.  Another widow suffered in silence trying to raise five children alone in a drafty house without central heat and air. Others were grieving deaths.  Some facing surgery.  Wow…I didn’t say anything at all to my table last night and they noticed and asked if I was OK.  I nodded.  Yes, I am OK.  The Lord has me in the palm of His hand and nobody, nobody can take me out.

I have problems, yes, but not near as bad as others and I should be thanking God that I have a home, hot water, and a family to clean up after.  Instead there are days where I complain because of the mess they make or the house is drafty. 

I am more blessed than the richest person on this planet because I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I cannot imagine going through life without Him.  He is my Rock.

Oh, the coolest part of my day yesterday?  I met a woman through Facebook who lives in Kenya.  She is a Christian as well.  She sent me a text last night at 1am and mentioned that it was 8am there and wondered what time it was where I lived and how I was doing.  I met a sister in Christ that I will never see this side of eternity. But thanks to the God-given talents of those that invented technolgy that we have today, I have met her virtually.  I just love “meeting” new people. 

Instead of having pity parties, let’s pray for one another.  There is always somebody else worse off that we are at this moment.  We are so blessed. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Your loving care and watching over our lives.

Where is God??

As I’m drinking my morning coffee, my dog is lying next to me snoring, jerking and twitching.  I glance over and wonder what she’s dreaming about.  I turn back to my laptop and sigh.  My heart is heavy.   It’s two weeks from Christmas and I don’t even know where I will get grocery money, much less Christmas presents.  I have a tree only because a friend of mine had extras and loaned me one so I could at least decorate.

I have applied for jobs on Craig’s List (which are all scams, by the way).  I have been searching and applying on legitimate sites regularly for the past year or so.  The job marked is so saturated.  I’ve had maybe 3 interviews, all of which didn’t pan out.  Real Estate is all but dead.  Mary Kay sales are few and far between.  My husband is on salary, so he can’t pick up overtime.  Again, sighing, I am trying not to cry.

You know, Christmas just keeps reminding me of how broke we really are.  My daughter stopped me in the hall the other day and says, “Mom, I know what I want for Christmas. Another blanket and lots of candy.”  My heart sank.  Where was I even going to get money for that?  For a teenager, that is a very small request.  I would love to be able to do that for her. 

We just wrapped up our three night production of our Christmas dinner theater at church and it was so much fun.  Every night was something different, whether it was forgotten lines or comedic relief from the impromptu acting of one of our Sunday School teachers. 

It seems like every devotional I read or sermon I hear is how God is always there, working on our behalf, whether we see Him or not.  I know He is trying to tell me this and deep down, I know this very well. 

But yet, I can’t help but be hurt and frustrated at this situation.  I don’t know what’s going on in the spiritual realm.  He doesn’t afford me that luxury.  Is He trying to get my attention?  He already has that.  What if He’s trying to get the attention of another one of my family members?  What if it has nothing to do with us? When will this be over?  When will He show up and “save the day?”  Or will He show up at all?  Why won’t He open a door for me to get a job? And on and on the questions go….

I know He never promised that this life would be easy.  We live in a fallen world.  Life will only be perfect on the other side of eternity. 

You know what I love? I love to read the Psalms. The psalmist was blatantly honest with God. He poured out his heart. God didn’t strike him dead.  Instead, God longs for us to be honest with Him. He knows what we are feeling anyway. Maybe He’s trying to get me to be that honest.  More often than not, I bottle up my feelings and suck it up and go on.  Or like yesterday, lay down to take a nap just hoping that when I awake, I will not be so broken hearted. That usually works—temporarily.  Or I’ll eat chocolate. It’s soothing to the palate, yet not so much when I look in the mirror.

We can’t hide from pain, no matter how hard we try.  I guess that’s why so many people end up alcoholics or drug addicts. 

You know, I guess that is why one of Jesus’ names in Scripture was the “Balm of Gilead.”  He soothes our broken hearts. He puts salve on our wounds. He is Wonderful, Counselor and Prince of Peace.

Where is God in all of this?  He’s here. He’s carrying us through the tough times. He’s loving us in spite of ourselves and our brokenness. He’s working on our behalf, whether we see it or not.  Romans 8:28 states that “He CAUSES all things to work together for good.”  You can’t “cause” something without being active. Think on that.

Does it really say that??

I grew up in church and Sunday school and was in a Christian school all of my life.  My parents ensured that I was there every time the doors were open.  One would think that I was totally grounded in the Word and in my faith.  Not necessarily so.

I was in the legalistic generation of the seventies and by the time I graduated high school in 1983, I wanted out of that environment.  It took me two years to figure out who I really was and what I believed.  Of course, I was a believer in Christ…of that much, I was certain.  The rest was a gray area.  I wanted to know what other churches did and why.  I was hungry for truth and not man-made laws (no movies, no pants on women, if it was fun—it was sin, etc.) 

It wasn’t until I took a “Precepts” class at church one year that I began to see how deep the Scriptures were and that every period and comma were there intentionally.  My hunger for the Word increased and I bought a study Bible.  I read it through for the first time in my life.  I wanted to see what God’s Word said for myself.  I figured if I died and went to Heaven, Jesus would probably wonder why I never read His love letter to us.  I didn’t really stop and study it but wanted to read it.  Things I didn’t understand, I went to online commentaries.  I think I read it in about four months.  I had to keep running my family out of my bedroom so I could read.  Satan used every interruption in the book to try to get me to stop, including my kids rolling their eyes at me because they “needed” me.  Not really.  They don’t bother me if I’m sitting in front of the TV or on the computer.  But if I’m trying to get closer to the Lord by reading or studying, they are all over me. 

After studying a few “Precepts” with Kay Arthur, I was introduced to Beth Moore studies by a friend and I have been soaking them up as much as I can.  I’ve learned so much in the last year.  It is amazing how God will peel back layer after layer of Himself as He knows you are ready to handle deeper truths. 

One verse that I have often quoted was Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”    I have read it as “delight in the Lord and He will give you what you really want.”  That’s not what it says.  We often misinterpret Scripture because we do not truly read it as it says and allow the Holy Spirit to show it’s true meaning.  I did not catch how I had been reading it until Dr. Charles Stanley said something one day about that verse and it hit me like a brick wall. 

It literally says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  HE will give you proper desires, not sinful ones.  The desire of our heart should be to please Him in all our ways.  He will purge our old desires and replace them with ones that please Him.  His purpose for us is to make us more like Christ.  Our human nature has to die first.  The more we read Scripture and take it word by word and let Scripture interpret Scripture, then we are on the right path to understanding Him and what He wants for us.

Don’t ever think that you will figure God out.  He’s too multi-faceted and deep for that.  Even King David couldn’t figure Him out.   But, really….do you want to?  I mean, think about how boring of a god we would have if we could figure him out. If we could figure him out, he wouldn’t be God.  I like that He keeps me wondering and pondering and searching.  He reveals something new everytime and it delights my soul. Only He can satisfy us like that.  Only He can fill that void inside of you.  Only He can bring pure joy.

Be blessed in the Lord!

Sheila

Waiting…

I love the way the Lord speaks to me through nature.  He doesn’t audibly speak, but His message is loud and clear.  He loves me and He loves YOU.  I can have a bad day or feel down and I can go outside and He has created something beautiful and I see it for the first time and it just makes me smile every time. 

I’ll never forget the time I was mowing and I was down in a pit mentally and emotionally and could not see daylight.  I got near the fenceline and there was this neon tropical orange flower blooming.  I didn’t plant it. Somehow a seed made its way over there and grew.  I knew it was not wild purslane because that had little tiny pink flowers and they were everywhere in my yard.  This was portulaca and it was gorgeous.  My heart soared and I smiled.  Simple things like that give me joy because my Heavenly Father created them and He does an awesome job!

Look around you. The beauty of the sky. The graceful flutter of a butterfly.  All creation sings His glory.  Have you ever studied the details of a spider?  or the beautiful detail of a cat’s markings?  My Father has an awesome imagination!

My kids call me a “tree hugger” because I enjoy nature so much. What they don’t see or understand is that nature puts me in awe of the Creator Himself. I can’t wait to meet Him!

I spend countless hours in the yard, watching nature and talking to the Father.   It’s something that I do to remind myself that He is still in control and life goes on no matter what is happening in our lives.  When you are waiting on an answer from Him, what do you do?

I don’t know where He’s leading me but I do know that each day is a fresh start.  Spend time in the Word and in prayer to align your heart with His and you are off to a great start.  You will need every bit of help you can get from Him as the day progresses.  Sometimes things get tough and He can guide you through it.  We are only promised today. That is all we can count on.  Today is a gift. 

There is a popular song that asks us, “if today were your last day…”  how would you use it?  Would you spend time with family and friends?  Are you making regrets?  My dad used to tell me never do anything you’ll regret.  Live wisely. 

How can you make the most of your time while you are waiting on the Lord? 

Start each day with Him. Ask His direction in each aspect of your day. Are you doing something He would be pleased with?  How are your responses to others?  Are they short and snappy or thoughtful and considerate?

One thing that always amazes me is how Jesus treated others when He was on this earth.  Even knowing how brutally He would be tortured and then die for us, He still cared for others.  On the cross,  He made sure that His mother was taken care of when He told John, “Behold your mother.”  The thief on the cross next to Him believed and Jesus told him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”  

I don’t know about you, but if I have something coming up that I know is going to be painful and I’m dreading it, I am not very pleasant to be around.  I am too consumed with worry and dread. 

Waiting, worrying and wondering can cause us to be  so preoccupied that we miss the small things and the daily gifts that God sends our way to remind us that He is sovereign and in control and nothing happens without His knowledge or consent. 

Take your life one day at the time and while you’re waiting on the Lord, do what you know you should do.  Do your best and leave the results up to God.  When the time is right, you’ll have your answer but only when the time is right.  It’s not our timing but God’s providence.  His timing is always perfect.  When He’s completed a good work in you, you will be able to look back and see His hand on your life.  He may have been protecting you from something or preparing something for you.  You may need extra training before you are ready for what He has for you. 

Think about Moses and David.  Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness being “untrained” as an Egyptian Prince before he was ready to be used of God.  David spent 14 years running from King Saul before he was ready to be king.  During those times, he was heavy hearted.  Read some of his Psalms and you’ll see where he poured his heart out to God.  The Bible doesn’t share what was going through every patriarch’s mind but we did get to see the heart of David, whom was said of God, “He is a man after My own heart.”  David was honest with God.  He didn’t try to be brave when he was hurting.  God knows how we really feel and He wants a relationship with us.  How can you have a relationship when you are not completely honest? 

The time that David spent running from Saul, prepared him for warfare.  He became an expert warrior, which helped him when he finally became Israel’s king. 

What does God have planned for you or me? Only He knows.  We just have to take it one day at the time.  When you are down, look to what the Creator created.

Every morning and evening, the Canadian Geese fly past my house coming and going to their daily activities.  I love to watch them fly in the “V” formation and they chatter as they go past.  They reside at the pond near the back of our neighborhood.  In the morning, they fly out to look for food and then come back at dusk.  It just fascinates me how God created such amazing birds.  It doesn’t take much to excite me when it comes to our Heavenly Father.  He is my hope and joy in this dismal world. 

Stay focused on Him and be blessed in the Lord!

 

Be blessed in the Lord!

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