Life is all about change. When you trust an unchanging God - you have the ability to embrace change and trust Him in the midst of it. Join me as the Lord leads me through a new phase of my journey.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fragmented Friday ~ Lacking

Apparently, the days of consistent blogging and any sort of routine are over.  I can't seem to fall into a rhythm.  Life is fragmented but wonderful at the same time.  My heart is strewn all over the country and my time follows suit. 

These days are crazy and wonderful and unsettling.

I'm loving them and occasionally weary of them.

I felt that the Lord had a message for me when I was reading Matthew 15.  In that chapter is the account of Jesus feeding 4,000 men plus women and children.  He asks the disciples a very simple question.

How many loaves do you have?

I love that question.  We spend so much time thinking about what we don't have -- our lack of (fill in the blank!)

Time
Skill
Money
Intelligence
Status
Energy
Widsom
Patience
Love
Talent
Opportunity

Perhaps you would choose a different word. 

We all find ourselves there from time to time.

I feel like the Lord is constantly encouraging us to look at what we have and to simply be willing to offer it up to Him.

It is a change of perspective and a change of focus.

It is allowing Him to take our little and turn it into much.

We are limited -- He is not.

Seven loaves of bread and a few small fish feed thousands.

What was the bridge between the little and the much?

Jesus' touch

Jesus' thanksgiving

Jesus' breaking of the bread

Our little touched by Jesus.

Our lack turned into praise and thanksgiving.

Our brokenness touched by our BIG God.

Only He can take the fragments of our life and turn them into a balm for the hurting.

Only He can take our little and transform it into more than enough.

What I lack, He fills.

I think I'm going to be alright. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Criticism on a Platter

Today is my birthday.  Birthday's have always been huge celebrations in my family.  I may have been an adult before I realized my birthday was not a national holiday.  Of course, every 7 years it falls on Thanksgiving, so occasionally, it is!  I celebrate my 55 years because the majority of them have been lived walking with Jesus.  They have been good and they have sometimes been hard, but I wouldn't trade a moment of those years.  So - I celebrate my days that are behind me and eagerly anticipate the days to come.


I think I'm going to need a bigger cake!

I read a very familiar passage this week but as the Holy Spirit works, got a completely different message from it than any other time I have read it.  I love that about the Spirit -- He makes familiar things new all the time.  My reading was in Matthew 14.  It is the account of John the Baptist's death.

Herod and his sister in law, Herodias, were having an affair.  John called him out on it, never hesitating to speak the truth, and needless to say, Herod did not appreciate it.  Neither did Herodias.  They wanted what they wanted.  Herod had John arrested but feared harming him because he was popular with the people.

Then . . . Herod's niece had a birthday.  A party was thrown in her honor.  She danced before Herod and he was so carried away by her performance that he promised to give her anything that she asked of him.  I don't know what she was thinking, but she decided to consult her Mom.

Herodias knew exactly what she wanted.

The head of John the Baptist on a platter.

Herod was not pleased, but he had backed himself into a corner and did not want to be embarrassed in front of his guests.  The beheading was carried out and the head of John the Baptist was presented to Herodias, on a platter, as a gift from her daughter.

Who wouldn't be mortified by that?  This account is full of all kinds of wrong.  It has adultery, pride, vengeance, and murder.  To top it off, a young girl is made complicit in the betrayal of her father and the death of an innocent man.

Herod and Herodias silenced their critic.

Now, I'll admit that was a drastic measure to take.

But don't we all do this in our own way?

*We no longer call the friend who risked pointing out something that needs our attention.

*We stop listening to the pastor who speaks of sin and opt for a kinder, gentler gospel where life choices and relative morality reign.

*We lash out and counter attack.

*We ignore and dismiss.

*We drag others into our drama.

*We turn a deaf ear to the whispers of the Holy Spirit.

*We behead the entire criticism rather than look for the truth in it.

Taking criticism well has never been my strong suit, but I have grown tremendously over the years in my ability to do so.  I'm still learning.

I have learned to sift through what is said and seek the Spirit about the truth that falls through.  I want to learn and grow from the criticism of others.  I want to be teachable, pliable and ever changing in the hands of the Lord.

I have grown to appreciate those that love me enough 
to say something hard.

I have grown in my desire to be more like Jesus - 
even when words sting.

I have grown to embrace the refining fire 
of criticism, exhortation and truth.

I have read this account many times and there are so many lessons to be learned, but today, I had to ask myself . . .

Whom have I beheaded?

Why am I so angry about something that was said about me?

Am I seeking growth from both criticism and encouragement?

Am I turning a deaf ear to the Spirit in favor of my own agenda and comfort?

Am I saying "la, la, la" in my mind when I should be listening?

Certainly not every critic is someone to heed, 
but it is far too easy to dismiss them all.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Musings ~ One Day

Happy Monday!  Fall is on its way out and winter is on its way in.  Changing seasons are my favorite.  Fall leaves will soon give way to snow flakes.  Embrace it!



(Insert Smooth Transition)

Oh well, I'll just get to it.

 I was reading Psalm 84 today.  Verses 10-12 are some of my favorite.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!


 But, I have to admit . . .

Sometimes the things of this world look pretty good.

Sometimes it seems easier to stand outside the courts of God

   where anything goes,

         where self is god,

                 where morality is relative,

                           where sin is celebrated and even sought after.

Sometimes, it is tempting to just go on over to the tents 
of the wicked and relax for awhile.

But those moments fly by quickly.

God is my sun and my shield.

He is my light and my protection.

He gives me His grace and His glory.

He does not withhold any good things from me as I live for Him.

What are those good things?

health?

wealth?

possessions?

problem free relationships?

Well, no.

But they are better.

What are those good things?

His grace

His mercy

His love

His salvation

His provision

His guidance

His presence

His forgiveness

Himself

These are good things and they are mine -- no matter what -- forever.

I would rather experience and know God Himself 
than have anything else out there.

One day in His courts > than 1,000 elsewhere





Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tueday's Thoughts ~ Fitting In

I'm pondering on Tuesday this week since I had jury duty on Monday.  What an interesting experience!  I was picked for a jury first thing in the morning and the trial was over by the end of the day.  It was a good experience to be involved in that process but I was thankful it was only a day.  The justice system is amazing but it is tedious! 

I've been thinking about this post since I flew back from Texas to Chicago on Sunday.  When I boarded the plane from DFW to O'hare, I was seated by a very large man.  I felt for him as I got over to my seat.  He didn't fit in the seat very well.  He was pressing against me and had to ask for the seat belt extender.  I know that must be a difficult situation to find yourself in as our seats in airplanes, movie theaters and waiting areas are only comfortable for some.  I could tell that he felt awkward.  I felt a bit awkward too - for both he and I. 




It made me think about all the ways that we don't fit.

Maybe you don't fit in at a family gathering.

Maybe you don't fit in with your co-workers.

Maybe you don't fit in with your neighbors.

Maybe you don't fit in anywhere.

Maybe you just don't fit.

It is as if you are a square peg in that proverbial round hole.



There is good news.

You were created for God's good purposes.

You were created as a unique child of the King.

You were created to be part of a bigger story that is continually unfolding.

You fit perfectly in the Father's plan.

You fit beautifully into the body of Christ.

You fit securely into the righteousness of Christ.

You fit safely in the Father's hand.

In Jesus, you are just the right fit.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts ~ God is in the details

There is a saying that goes, "the devil is in the details."  Now, I understand what this means.  Details are what gets us when we are running an event or doing a project.  I am not a naturally detailed person, so perhaps I can relate with that saying more than most. 

What I wanted to share today is how God is in the details. He is aware of every detail of my day and every obstacle that is coming my way.  He works in my every day in such an astounding way that I never cease to be amazed.  He knows and He cares.  He watches over me.

I left Ashely's house on a Tuesday morning about 10 am after staying up quite late with the baby.  I felt pretty good and the Lord was good to give me a boost of energy as I headed out.  I wanted to get as far as I could get on that 1st day of the drive.  As I headed from Oklahoma into Missouri, my oil light came on. 


I had intended to get my oil changed in TX before I left, but let's just say I had a lot of other things on my mind!  I debated about just making it to Chicago and then taking care of it there.  It seemed like such a hassle to try to stop somewhere along the way and I wanted to make good time!

I pondered and then decided that it would be better to see if there was a Honda dealership in Joplin MO.  I could make it there by 4:00.  There was one, but it was a bit off the highway.  Should I take the time to stop?  The Lord just kept nudging me to take care of it.  As I wandered down the busy street with  a lot of stop lights, I second guessed my decision.  This was taking more time than I wanted to spare!

I arrived at the Honda dealership and they could take my car immediately!  They were very nice, as they always are, and I used the time to take Quincy on a walk.  As they were finishing up, the repairman came out to me and said that my car wouldn't start back up.  What?!?! 

My battery was completely dead.
It gave its all!  My car does have 87,000 miles on it, so I guess it was time!  What amazed me was that it happened right there at the Honda dealership.  They were able to put my new battery in and I was on my way.  All of that took less than an hour.

What if I had been out in the middle of no where when that battery gave it up? 

I could have been stranded on the side of the interstate, calling a tow truck and had a huge delay. 

The timing had God's fingerprints all over it. 

I drove until almost 10 pm and got right across the Illinois border.  I was given a big room for a cheap rate and the guy decided not to charge me for Quincy.  Really?  Even those details were taken care of.

 The second day of driving was much harder.  That adrenalin rush had gone the way of my battery!  I was so thankful for God's loving care in the details as I made it home safely by 12:30 the next day. 

Am I making much of little?

I don't think so. 

I am intimately acquainted with my Heavenly Father who is mindful of every minute of my every day.  He is not just present for the big moments - but for all the small moments that make up a very ordinary day.

He gave me energy and watched over my fatigue.  He took care of my car when I wasn't even aware of the potential problems.

He brought me safely home.

Do you feel alone in your struggle?

Do you doubt that the Lord is aware of your difficulties and challenges?

Let me tell you, if you know Jesus as your Savior, you never have to doubt that the Lord is aware of all that is going on in your life. 

He is.

He cares.

He is watching over you.

God is in the details.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ Need I say more

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness today.  I walked down the streets of Chicago, looking at the fall leaves and feeling the cool air.  I just soaked in the city and thought about all the things that the Lord has done in this place

Wow -- there is something about fall color that expresses the 
creativity and beauty of the Lord.

THEN . . . I thought about how much life has changed since May 
with the addition of two grandsons.

Cooper Wade Brenton, born June 4th, 2014.



Don't you just love baby feet!

Owen Jude Thorne, born on October 7, 2014.


There's those feet again . . .

Words can not express how thankful I am for the opportunity 
to watch my girls grow into women, 
get married to Jesus loving men and 
have these little boys.

It is a privilege and a gift.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Miraculous Monday ~ Owen Jude Thorne

Why is this Monday miraculous?  Owen Jude Thorne is 6 days old.  He is a bundle of joy and evidence of the miracle of life that our Creator has allowed us to experience.  I love being a Mimi to this precious boy.  This life of Mimi squared is God's grace poured all over me!


October 7, 2014
8 lbs. 9 oz.
21 3/4 inches long
Perfection

It is a very special time to share with Ashley.  Seeing your daughter become a Mom is very special.  Seeing her husband, James, leap into fatherhood with both feet has been so much fun!  He loves it and he is so sweet with this baby.


He is so content after nursing - a full belly and a snooze on his Mom.  The light was hitting him just right as it crept in through the window.


This photo was taken after his first bath.

He is already a ponderer.  He looks into your eyes so intently.  He is a little man of 1,000 expressions.  He is content.  He is JOY personified.

There are a lot of great moments in this life and I must say -- 
this is one of the best ones.

Welcome to the world, Owen Jude Thorne.

Your Mimi loves you to the moon and back.