Wednesday, March 30, 2011

spring rains

"Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:3

"The LORD reigns for ever and ever."
Exodus 15:18

Honestly, I had every intention of complaining about the rain this morning in this post.  I've been writing it in my head all morning...just waiting for the moment to sit and type it out. 
Before I opened my blog page, though, I sat down at my computer and did a fun little thing I like to do time to time...look up words in the Bible to see what verses are referenced for the words.
Today's choice of words, reigns and rains.
If you are in the Altanta area, there are no questions as to why I chose these words.  It has been raining all week long.  And then some.
Reading over verses that contain some form of both of these words, though, I was humbled by the words from The Word.
My circumstances remain the same; it's still raining. 
But.......
I am now reminded by each drop that His presence surrounds me such as these drops do. 
He refreshes me as the rain refreshes the land.
And His reign is neverending...just like it has seemed this week with the rain falling from the sky.
Somewhere above these clouds, the sun is shining. 
One day my Savior is coming again.
I know this.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

L.E.N.S. photo challenge: SPRING


The beauty of Spring is displayed over at Home Is Where You Start From this week!

(There's a technical problem going on today with my photo...it's there if you click on the little green square.  Hopefully this will be fixed soon.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

3 in 30: March {week 4}


March is making its way to a close...I stand in awe of God's goodness in helping me reach my goals this month so far.  It has been by His strength that I've been able to stick with it all these days.
Getting to bed by 11...every night but one this past week.  I was late by about 10 minutes that night.  Oops!  Not bad, though, for a recovering Night Owl.
Making it to Bible Study on Mondays...made it in good measure Monday.  I'm really enjoying our study on Jonah!
Working on my Proverbs 31 woman goal...getting up before it's daylight is becoming easier for the most part.  It probably helps that it's not freezing cold out anymore.  It really does make a difference on how the rest of the day goes.  I feel much more productive on most days...the past couple of days have been difficult because I'm not feeling well due to the pollen that comes with springtime in GA.  I didn't get up at 5 yesterday due to not feeling well, but I was still up by 6:15 and enjoyed a Wii Fit workout in the living room.  I didn't have to pretend to feel good in the comfort of my own home. :) 
Hope everyone has felt a wave of accomplishment in some area of their goals this month!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday's Walk: walk-a-mile

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The moon has been full and bright these past several days.  It lights up the otherwise dark night.  One can see rather clearly with the moon beaming rays of light so brightly.  Somehow, thinking of bright nights, I remembered back to my days in youth and some of the great times we had at our Saturday night gatherings.  Every Saturday night we'd get together to do something...whether at someone's house, a generous family from church usually, or some sort of youth function. 
Games, bonfires, great food, cards, lots of chatting, hayrides, volleyball...and even once in awhile we went on a walk-a-mile.  A walk-a-mile was, I guess what we could call an ice breaker or social game of sorts.  The guys would gather in one area and the girls in another and without (much) peeking, we would partner up to start going on a walk together...either hand in hand or arm in arm we would walk and talk with each other.  After a few minutes, whomever the leader was for the guys' line (or whoever was ready for a change) would go ahead one person and the switch would take place along the whole line of people walking.  The walk ended when the leader had walked with everyone in the line...and you made it back to wherever you started from. 
I really enjoyed being able to visit with the guys for a few minutes during the walk and it wasn't awkward because everyone was doing the same thing.  Of course, there was the occasional teasing among friends going on...you can always expect that between gals and guys in their teens.  It was kind of like Facebook in real life...brief, casual conversations among friends.  But, since we were together often...and did alot of stuff together as a group, the walk-a-mile helped build onto an already established friendship.  It was always great to have one when there was a visiting youth group with us, though...new people to meet and get to know.   
Maybe the bright moon reminded me of these walks because although they were were fun no matter where we were, it was especially nice when we would walk in the moonlight.
Thanks for going on my Wednesday's Walk with me...

Monday, March 21, 2011

L.E.N.S. photo challenge: green

The spring rains this particular year had made everything beautifully fresh and green in GA.  Only after I had taken these photos and posted them on FB, did I realize that I had found beauty in unmown grass.
Come over to Home Is Where You Start From for more "Green" photos.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3 in 30: Encouraging Words

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9
This passage has resonated for me this month...taking on goals that go against what I'm used to doing.  A lifestyle change.  It's not for me, though.  It's for the betterment of myself in order that I can better be effective for Christ and my family.  My goal is beyond what I can do...it's asking for God's help and strength to be more than I can be by myself. 
God is so good!
My goals have gone well this week...
I really am enjoying seeing bedtime come these days.  I made it to bed every night before 11pm without a problem except for last night when we were traveling home from the beach.  If it counts I started nodding off around 10 pm in the car, but attempted to stay awake to keep Scott company.  He might have preferred me to be asleep...I was kind of out of it.
I am so loving Bible study this session...it's on Jonah.  So awesome.  I also remembered to not make another appointment for a Monday in the future.  I was excited I remembered again that Monday's are not available.
And, I have continued to be up and at 'em while it's still dark out.  I'm overjoyed with how this is making life so much more productive for us all.  God's doing a great work here.  Sometimes, I am tired, though, and I'm learning to not complain about that.  Complaining won't change anything (as I often tell my boys).  Still learning how to go to bed earlier...and hoping that one morning I will find that I haven't awakened at 3:40 AM, having trouble them going back to sleep until my alarm goes off.
Although I didn't make it online to link up with the other ladies in the 3 in 30 Challenge, I had a marvelous time in Gulf Shores.

Monday, March 14, 2011

timing is everything

God answers prayer.  The awesome thing about that statement isn't always the answer I receive.  It's the way He answers...and when.  
He knows the answers we need and exactly when we need them.  When the answer will speak directly to our hearts...when we'll know without a doubt this answer is directly answering a prayer we've uttered as a whisper of our heart...when it will surprisingly wrap around us like a hug from God Himself.
He is that good. 
All the time. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

3 in 30: March Week 2

I'm halfway there!
March goal update...
Get to bed by 11pm every night...success again this week!  Praise God for His help and thank you for the encouraging comments.  It was close one night, but I squeaked by with a bedtime of 10:58.  Totally paid for it the following day, too...so tired!  It didn't help that it was pouring rain outside and that always encourages a nap.  I didn't give in to that lovely thought, though, beacause it would have thrown off my bedtime.
Make it to my ladies' Bible study every Monday...made it on time and even remembered I had volunteered to bring the snack in time to make homemade blueberry bars!  They were yummy, if I do say so myself. :)
Focus on part one of a multi-part goal to become a better Proverbs 31 woman. This week's verse to work on..."She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."...Yes, I did do this again and am really enjoying my time at the Y in the mornings.  I really didn't expect that this goal would expand and include keeping two previous goals going as well.  January's goal of getting to the Y and February's goal of drinking more water have gone hand in hand with my 3rd goal this month.  I've even gone above and beyond the original Y goal and have gone to the Y every day of March except on Sundays...I amazed myself, even!
Time change this weekend has me concerned...Monday morning is going to be rough!  Glad I have a couple of weeks under my belt and am encouraged by the progress thus far so I can talk myself out of bed at "4 AM" even though the clock says it's 5 AM.
Hope everyone is feeling encouraged to make steps toward their goals this month!  You can do it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

an invitation

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
“At your service,” he replied.
The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked.
Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“At your service,” he replied.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet. 
2 Samuel 9
I love the story of King David and Mephibosheth!  What a message of grace and mercy...of hope...of acceptance.  Considering who he was (or rather, whose he was), Mephibosheth was "lucky" to be alive still when King David inquired of Saul's family.  He had no stature...he had nothing to offer the King...he was more work than help.
Yet...
King David sought him out. 
King David looked upon him with kindness. 
King David gave him an inheritance.
King David treated him as his son.
King David invited him to his table.

The King of Glory did the same for me. 

God sought me out...
"Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'" Luke 19:9-10
God looked upon me with kindness...
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."  Titus 3:3-7
God gave me an inheritance...
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16
God calls me His child...
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."  1 John 3:1-2
God sets me a place at His table...
"'Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.'"  John 14:1-3
"'My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.'"  John 10:27-28

He does it for all of us.

All we have to do is believe Jesus is God's Son...our Savior.
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."  1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Ever felt as if the kids' table was your lifelong assigned seat?  Ever had your seat taken?  Does it seem that you've pushed back from the table by your own means or others'?  God is seeking you out and offering you a seat at His table.  It's an invitation to belly up to the feast prepared for you and you will no more hunger or thirst.
Even as a Christian of many years, for a time now, I was feeling pushed back from the table.  Asked to sit and watch...to fast and rest.  Then, just recently, I heard a sermon preached from 2 Samuel 9 and I heard my voice being called.  God showed me my invitation was still open to share His table with Him.  My time of fasting was over and it was time to be filled again.  What joy I feel now as I am revived and ready to serve whenever, wherever He leads. 
Sometimes all it takes is an invitation.   

Monday, March 7, 2011

L.E.N.S. photo challenge: this moment


This moment was a couple of years ago when we visited The Rock Ranch.  It was so fun to watch the boys play in the corn house...it brought back many memories of my own "helping" Grandpa Miller and Uncle Mike on the farm.  I was never allowed to play in the corn, though...but it was fun helping shovel it and pour it out for the pigs.  I really wanted to get in there and play with them, but I settled for taking pictures of their fun. :)
Catch other great moments at Home is Where You Start From!

Friday, March 4, 2011

3 in 30 Check In: Miracles Do Happen

March has come...and it's been exciting so far!  Even I cannot believe how well this week has gone for me!  I'm almost afraid to have the weekend come because the routine will be changed.
My progress this week...
1) Get to bed by 11pm every night...DONE!!!  This is one of my miracles this week.  When you Google "nightowl" my name and photo are the first link to find out what this is. :)  But not this week!  In fact, I've been asleep by 10 most nights...last night I stayed up until 10:30 and feel sluggish this morning.  This is funny to me...funny, strange, and great all rolled into one! 
2)  Bible study doesn't start until Monday...but, I did remember NOT to make an appointment for Monday morning, though, so this is progress!!!
3)  Part one of a multi-part goal to become a better Proverbs 31 woman. This week's verse to work on..."She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."  Another miracle!  I have been up by 5:15 AM every day in March so far...and at the Y by 5:30 ready to workout.  (I get a break on the weekends because the Y doesn't open until 7 AM on Saturdays. Yahoo!)  It's only the first part of the verse, but I cook for my family anyway and I don't have any servants, so that's the part I was aiming for in the first place. :)  Today, I am tired, but it's been a great week of seeing how God answers prayers and performs miracles in my own life...even if they are little ones.
Hope your week has been one of progress as well!  If something has not gone as planned, keep your chin up for there are more days left in March!  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

what love does


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love...
leads to prayer.
remembers the little things.
knows me better than I know myself.
sighs with me.
challenges me to new heights.
holds my hand.
lets go at just the right moment.
corrects.
understands.
forgives.
instantly appears when needed.
faithfully stands by.
speaks volumes through a hug.
wants the best for me.
answers questions.
laughs with, near and at me.
holds my heart.
points me in the right direction.
quietly waits.
makes recommendations, but let's me choose.
communicates in ways I understand.
dreams big.
loves back.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday's Walk...No Rinse Shampoo

Last week when I took the boys to get haircuts, a product on the salon's shelf made me laugh out loud when I saw it.  No Rinse shampoo.  I forget the brand name, but it's supposed to do when you don't have water accessible to you for some reason or another. 
What's so funny about no rinse shampoo?  Well, I'm glad you asked.
Our church youth group, back in the day, used to travel alot to different cities/states to visit, put on programs, or do work projects.  Many of us had sisters/brothers in the youth along with us, too.  On this one particular trip to Illinois, my best friend and I were teamed up to stay at an older lady's home for the night.  It was kind of late when we arrived at our home for the night, so we just kind of went to our room and got ready for bed and for the next day.  As we unpacked, it came to our attention that neither of us had shampoo...both of us were going to share with our sisters.  Our sisters were paired up to spend the night at a different home.  We hoped to find shampoo in the guest bathroom, but no luck.  Ugh! 
Now, remember, we were two teenage girls...appearances were REALLY important to us, especially in the hair department. 
Upon further investigation, one of us (I forget which one of us) found a bottle of Avon No Rinse Shampoo and carried it into the bedroom to show the other.  I just remember us standing there reading the bottle, sizing up the age of the product, and bursting out into laughter at the thought!  The bottle appeared to be about as old as the lady with whom we were staying.  To us that seemed ancient. 
We didn't want to be a bother, so we didn't ask for any other shampoo.  We didn't have a car or we would've probably gone out to get some.  And, being a day when cell phones were only for the movies, we couldn't call our sisters or anyone else for that matter to get our problem solved. 
We laughed and laughed and laughed some more at the sight of no rinse shampoo and the thought of what it might do to us.  And, if I remember correctly, we made do without it, too.  We made sure the next trip we took our own bottle of shampoo!  :)
After all these years, you'd think I'd forget such a thing, but that little bottle last week brought it all right back as if it had just happened...and I laughed some more.
Read more Wednesday's Walk memories at Jenilee's blog, The Goodwin Family.