"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take."
~~Proverbs 3:5-6~~
I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Jesus is Lord of my life and I strive daily to draw closer to Him. I love being a homemaker---taking care of my family and home. I enjoy couponing, cleaning, and cooking. I love to get the best deal on everything and find that yard sales and thrift stores are the perfect places for that. I have recently felt lead to write a Bible study and have been working on it in my spare time. I truly enjoy leading women's groups as we all seek to grow closer to the Lord. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy reading about what happens as I strive do all of this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Sister....My Friend

Today is my sister's birthday.  She is almost exactly 10 years older than me but we have always been close.  She has never made me feel "less than" just because she is older.  Her 10th birthday was actually the day that I was brought home from the hospital.  She has always said that I was the best birthday present she has ever gotten but I am certain that a new baby in the house is not what most 10 year-olds want.  There are so many lessons that I have learned from my sister over the years.  I would like to share them with you.
  1. Don't let other people define you.  Being an individual is a gift from God.
  2. Be kind to strangers and it will lift your spirits.
  3. Even when you are struggling, there is always something you can do for somebody else.
  4. Your tone of voice carries a lot of meaning in how you make people feel.
  5. Don't try to lift yourself up but putting others down.
  6. Keep a constant conversation going with the Lord.
  7. Just because you are miles away from somebody, you can still cause them to feel hugged, loved, and comforted.
  8. Sisters do not have to hate each other.  It is possible for sisters to be best friends.
  9. Age means NOTHING.  Never ever ever grow up!
  10. You can face really difficult things with a great attitude.
These are just a few of the lessons my sister has taught me.  She has always been a hero to me and I have always said that I want to be just like her when I grow up.  Remember though, one of the things I have learned from her is NEVER EVER EVER grow up.

My first Christmas...sitting right beside my sister

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Is Not Just About the Coffee

When people see or hear that I have been at Starbucks...again...they sometimes make comments about my frequent trips there.  They say that I must REALLY like their coffee or they point out the cost of the coffee.  I actually buy one the cheapest drinks that they offer.  The truth is, it is not just about the coffee.  It is literally a ministry opportunity.  Ministry opportunity?  Yes.  I have had the privilege of getting to know most if not all of the employees personally.  I know them in a way that allows me to pray for their needs, encourage them, and show them the love of Christ.  It is not just about the coffee.  Yes, I love a good cup of coffee and I enjoy it anytime of the day, but if it were just about the coffee, I would stay at home.  Coffee is what allows me to "connect" to people that I otherwise would not know.  I firmly believe that ministering to people requires you to be around people, reach out to people, and connect with people.  I grew up in the shadows of my daddy as he lived his life this way.  He never met a stranger.  Everyone he encountered he set out to get to know in some way.  When I was little I watched him talk to the employees of McDonald's as he had his morning coffee and biscuit.  I watched as he would sit at stores waiting on my mama.  He would talk to the other gentlemen sitting there.  On our way home from these places I would hear him as he would share with me what he learned about these people.  Every encounter was an opportunity.  Christ was the same way.  He made every single encounter an opportunity to encourage, teach, heal, or save.  Why are we any different?  I jokingly call Starbucks my ministry but the truth is that it really is.  I have conversations with people there that allow me to later pray for them or encourage them.  So the next time you see me with my Starbucks cup remember that it is not just about the coffee.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,
do it all for the glory of God”
(1 Cor. 10:31)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Be still and Be Quiet...Not My Normal Reaction

I have been through a hurtful time in the last 6 months.  It has been a season of renewal but it has also been a season of pain.  I have discovered that dwelling on the hurt only intensifies the sting.  My usual reaction to things like this is to quickly defend myself by either having a confrontation or firing off an email that I later regret.  This time was so different.  Although I have never been hurt like this, I knew in an instant how I was suppose to handle it.  That knowledge was comforting but difficult to accept.  I had never handle anything this way before. 

Several months ago, I downloaded a sermon series by a pastor who is now our pastor.  I listened to it while cutting grass and honestly thought no more of it.  In one of the sermons he was speaking on when the children of Israel were at the Red Sea with Pharaoh at their backs.  In Exodus 14:13-14 it says:  Moses spoke to the people: "Don't be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you're never going to see them again.  God will fight the battle for you.  And you? You keep your mouths shut!"   As soon as I started experiencing the pain of this situation, I recalled these very verses.  I decided to stand firm, watch God, let Him fight the battle for me, and keep my mouth shut.  I cannot say this was easy to do but I knew immediately it was what I was going to do. 

I have watched God handle the entire situation far better than I ever could.  I have learned a lot of lessons in the process and I have experienced the overwhelming love and comfort of the Lord.  I would have really messed things up worse if I had gone with my normal reaction.  Reacting this way has, at times, caused me to look guilty of what I was being accused of.  It has caused people to doubt me and question my motives.  It has meant walking away from several relationships that I at one time treasured.  I have experienced many nights of tears as I would dwell on what I could be saying or doing to make things "right", yet I knew all along that I was not the one to handle it...GOD WAS

I have witnessed how God truly "works things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).  I have had a peace even in the midst of what seemed like a hurricane of a storm.  I have learned so much about myself, the Lord, and the people that I love.  I have gotten closer to the Lord.  I have clung to His Word and truly meditated on it when my heart was crushed.  I have discovered I can change my "normal reaction" to suit His purpose.

Several months ago, I was furious at several people for inflicting what seemed like torture on my heart.  Now, I sit here with a need to thank them.  Were their actions right?  I would think not but God is the judge.  I am thankful for the experience because of what it has done to me as a person.  I am thankful for the experience for what I have learned.  I am thankful for it because I am closer to the Lord than I have ever been.  My anger was probably justified but in my anger, I did not go after the people that hurt me.  I left the fight up to the Lord.  I have forgiven the people involved and I can honestly say that I am not bitter or holding a grudge.  That is where peace comes from.  Did I like that God specifically told me to be still and be quiet?  No, but I am certainly glad that I obeyed.

"Give your burdens to the Lord,
      and he will take care of you.
      He will not permit the godly to slip and fall"
Psalm 55:52

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frazzled Hair

Last night was the first night of a new Bible Study with my Tuesday night group.  Some of us have attended the Tuesday night group together for a while and others were new to the group.  We started The Frazzled Female by Cindi Wood last night.  It is different from any study I have ever been a part of.  There is only daily homework and there is not a DVD for each session.  I am excited about being a part of the study because I really enjoy them, but one of the first questions we were asked to discuss at our tables was about why we were excited about the study.  I felt selfish as I answered but I was honest.  My answer was that I enjoy the social aspect of participating in studies.  I do want to learn more about the Lord and myself, but the truth is that I REALLY enjoy getting to know new people and more about people I already know.  I don't consider myself "frazzled" but I also know that, like every other Bible study, I will learn that I relate to the lessons more than I realize. 

With the name of this study in mind, I want to share a story from the rest of my evening yesterday.  I came home and my daughter suggested that we straighten my hair.  Now, you have to realize that I have very thick and very curly hair.  Straightening has always been laughable to me but I knew it was about spending time with my daughter and not about a perfect hair-do.  So she heated the iron, sat me in a chair, and started brushing my hair.  Something else you should know is "brushing" my dry naturally curly thick hair only makes it bigger.  As we talked and enjoyed time together she started the process of flat-ironing my hair.  She would joyfully say things like "Your hair is actually straight", "I cannot believe it is straightening", etc.  So I sat without a mirror and trusted her.  Soon, she was ready for me to look in the mirror.  As I looked I held back a laugh to keep from hurting her feelings.  Soon we were both laughing because of how different and odd I looked.  In a few minutes though, I realized I looked more like my sweet daddy.  He died over 8 years ago, but in that mirror I saw him and his thick, dark, and straight hair.  I suddenly did not think my hair looked odd but familiar.  I saw a change that looked more like who I came from and not my old self.

I consider my hair "frazzled".  It goes in all sorts of directions and you cannot tell which end is which.  There is no real style to my hair other than whatever it decides to do.  When the heat was firmly applied it changed.  It resisted a little, but in the end, my hair was straighter than it had ever been.  I was transformed to look more like my earthly father in the process.  That is so how life is.  We are going in a 100 different directions without much direction.  If something comes along and "brushes us" we seem even more out of control and our problems seem bigger.  If we allow the process of God firmly but carefully applying His warmth and love to our lives, we will be transformed into somebody that looks more like Him.  Now, remember, once I wash my hair it will be curly once again.  Once we wash our lives of time with God and applying His love and direction, we will be back to our old selves.  For me to have straight hair on a regular basis, I would need to have it flat ironed each and every morning which would take time and effort.  Our walk with the Lord is the same way.  We need to have daily time with Him and make the effort to look more and more like Him on a daily basis.  Others should see Him when they see us.

♫Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
   Let them flow in endless praise.♫

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Pure Heart....A Clean Road

I came home last night to the site of vulgar paintings on the road at the end of our driveway.  It immediately angered me because our road was just newly paved about a month ago.  I could not believe that somebody would do such a thing with bright white paint.  We ended up getting the police involved and hopefully with some evidence that they found, they will get to the bottom of it and the guilty person will be rightly punished.

As I thought about it this morning, I thought about sin in our lives.  I wonder how often I stand up from a time of confession and repentance with the Lord only to turn right back around and sin.  I have a freshly cleaned heart and I deface it with pride, selfishness, anger, rudeness, etc.  I am no different than the person that shook that can of spray paint and started defacing the road.  The road is visible to all who pass by. All can see that somebody did such a rude thing.  I am also visible to everyone.  They see my actions and know when I am doing things that are sinful.  What kind of witness am I?

As I look out most windows of my home, I can see the white paint glistening under the sun on that black road.  I am reminded each time that I look out and see it that others are looking at me and so is the Lord.  What do they see?

Create in me a pure heart,
O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Friday, October 8, 2010


Last night, I attended a quilter's guild show and demonstration.  I was really excited about going.  When my teenagers were toddlers, I was taught the basics of machine piecing.  I enjoyed it but it was not something I had a lot of time for.  Going to the show last night really made me want to come home and get started on a project.

One thing that caught my attention was the Yo-Yo maker.  I have always loved the look of the Yo-Yo quilts but thought the process was too tedious.  Watching the lady use the Yo-Yo maker sparked my interest.  I may look for one while I am out today.

As I stood and stared at a few of the quilts it made me think about how they are similar to life.  I thought about how you can have imperfections, flaws, and even mistakes yet still be beautiful in God's eyes.  I thought about how it takes so many different experiences in our lives to come together to make us what we are.  I am glad that when God looks at me, he sees a masterpiece even if I focus on the small imperfections and flaws.  I am grateful that my life is full of various experiences which make who I am.  Quilts are never perfect.  Each quilter picks the many different pieces of material, thread, and pattern.  Each quilt is unique and useful.  We are the same way.  We are not all meant to be just alike.  God can use each of even thought we are different from each other.
As I start my project, I will try to keep in mind that, like that quilt I will make, I am not perfect but I am treasured by God.

When life throws you scraps, make a quilt.  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I started walking early in the morning instead of waiting until later in the day.  With the feel of the crisp fall air, the sounds of the world waking up, and the sight of the sun coming up, it is the best time of day.  I have found that leaving the house between 7 and 7:30 in the morning is the best time to go.  I have been able to see the sun come up like a ball of fire yet feel a chill as I make my way through town.  It is a priceless view that God repeats day after day. 
Last night, our daughter took a picture out of her bedroom window of the sunset.  Since I have watched it rise the last few days, I was anxious to see the picture.  We talked about how it is hard to know, just seeing the pictures, if the sun is coming or going.  When people look just at a snip-it of my life, do they know which way I am headed?  Do they know if I am bringing light or taking it away.  Jesus is the light of the world.  It is my job to bring His light to the world.  When I am going about my day, I need to make certain that people see that light.  Just like the sun, Jesus is a source of light that can be counted on.  I have yet to doubt that the sun would rise as I go on my walk.  Jesus is dependable.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
"I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life."
~John 8:12~

Friday, October 1, 2010

Anxiety or Faith?

I bought a book this week that I am really looking forward to learning from:
I started reading it last night and found a quote that I absolutely love:
‎"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety or by the handle of faith"
~~Henry Ward Beecher~~
This is so true.  I have struggled with anxiety my entire life.  It, at times, has totally controlled me and debilitated me.  When I was younger, I did not know to call it anxiety, but I knew the feelings far too well.  As I got older, I found that certain things triggered episodes.  Recently in life, I have learned more and more how to NOT let it control me and to lean on the Lord in times that can potentially stir up anxiety within me.  The truth is, once we start being anxious over something we have stopped trusting the Lord to handle the situation.  We get anxious because we start having thoughts like, "I cannot handle this", " This is more than I can take", or "I cannot do this again".  We put ourselves in the place of God.  What we should say to ourselves (and to Satan) is "God can handle this", "This is not more than God can take", or "God can do this again".  Instead, when anxiety takes over, we are consumed with how we can handle something, how something will turn out, or how we can control something.  God is in control and that is what I have learned to say over and over out loud when I feel anxiety creeping up on me. 
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Matthew 6:34