Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just Plain Exciting!

We are preparing to move and some things are hard to do and others are just plain exciting. In the time we have spent in this place we have met so many wonderful people and for so many different reasons. We have made some life long friends at our church, we have made friends with the nurses that treat my husband once a month, I have met the frozen food lady in Wal-Mart and the Subway lady that share their stories a little at a time with me once a week. These are just a few examples of the people God has placed in our path.

Now there are hard things to do, like saying good bye to the ladies at my Bible study. These are ladies I was privileged to get to know and share life with. No judgments, just love. [isn't that what we all long for?] Things like going through all the "junk" we have collected and don't need, that's hard in a different way.

Then there are things that are exciting to do, like creating little gifts to give to that shine the light on God. They all have to be thought out and planned ahead of time. All the recipients don't have a clue and that is why it is so exciting and fun to do. When I give them their small gift I just love to see the surprise and wonder on their face, that someone, that only knows them once a week, would give a gift.

That got me to thinking about how God does all these little surprises for me. {us} Like my husband finding a $10 bill as he was weeding around our little lot, or when I called to check on a bill that was already paid. How about waking up to see the sky with its beautiful pink and golden hues to start the day or have your grand daughter grab your face with both tiny hands and pull you close and gently give you a kiss. Oh yeah, God has such wonderful surprises, well thought out and planned ahead of time. Wonder if He gets excited to see the surprise and wonder on my face? I think He must. He must love to hear his "kids" laugh and just say thank you, that was so awesome!

When I look at all the things above it comes down to love. We love to get good gifts and we also love to give gifts.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This certainly wasn't my idea! It comes straight from God. That must be why it seems so natural and exciting to do. God has loved us so much and it is impossible not to love others. Have you been caught by surprise today with the love God has given you?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


How many times I have asked God to change the circumstances in my life! Asking to be removed from hurtful words, get me out of this broken mess etc. Have you struggled with this? I have great news if you have!

Well, just recently I have been in a 'tight' circumstance. By that I mean a time when breathing comes hard because of all the things happening around me. It seems like my whole world was caving in. Family trials, moving or not moving, sickness, house problems. It just seemed like every facet of my life was being effected with some sort of trial or terrible circumstance.

I had prayed to hear God's voice and know which direction we were supposed to be going. I have found there is nothing worse than heading away from God for the solution.[think Jonah!] As I prayed it seemed like God was sitting as silent as a stone. So I reached out to a friend that knows the 'circumstances' in my life and asked her to pray. [I think in a small part of my brain I was sure that God would speak to her and not me.] When I saw she had answered back I stared at the closed email for awhile thinking, will this influence my thinking, or is this from God. I didn't open it right then but prayed.

When I finally opened the email it wasn't what I had expected, not a solution to all this drama in my life. I thanked her and then went on to my devotions. And wouldn't you know it, God was there in my devotions. This was the paraphrase of what He told me.
Don’t let circumstances distress you. Rather look for the will of God for your life to be revealed in and through those circumstances.
Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Don’t ask God to change the circumstances to suit our own needs. We need to conform our will to His!!

I don't know about you but this revelation made me jump for joy and want to run around telling everyone just how great our God is. He cares about you so much. He has a perfect will for your life and mine. He is willing to share it with us, a perfect plan, all we need do is ask and trust that He is able to complete it. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Better Plan

Have you ever planned a fun activity or a super outing with family only to have things fall apart? Well this just happened to me. I saw an invitation for children to go to a Wilton class to learn how to decorate a cake. I thought what fun, right? So, I asked my granddaughter if she would like to try it out. She was excited so I called and made reservations.

I got the list [more things than you need for a weeks vacation in the Bahamas] of things that would need to be purchased before attending the class. I went out and bought all the needed items. I think the wait was as hard on me as it was for my granddaughter. I would check the calendar to see how many days we had till then. She was asking her mom is it today? So we were both in such high anticipation for our outing together.

There was a clause in the registration that stated if they didn't have enough people the class would be canceled. I understood this so I called  a week in advance to make sure the class was still on so I could prepare my granddaughter if things didn't pan out. They weren't sure but advised me to call back in a few days as they were taking it to the meeting for discussion. Hmm wonder what that means? The wait seemed to be an eternity but I called after waiting 2 days, [now only the weekend separated us from the class] only to find out the class was canceled because they couldn't find a teacher!

I had all the things [any pastry chef would be thrilled with the items] but had no idea how to use them or for that matter what they were needed for. {Why would you need 100 toothpick to decorate a cake?] So as not to disappoint my granddaughter told her the class was canceled but we would do the decorating at her home! She was thrilled, I was nervous!

I called a friend that had done amazing cakes and decorated award winning designs for advice. Since she had moved 1000 miles away she suggested YouTube. Of course, why didn't I think of the that? I studied all the women in the world that demonstrated how to decorate a cake and was now more confused than ever. I was apprehensive at our success at a happy outcome but plunged ahead.

I arrived with my heavy bag of tricks to my granddaughters excited little face. It perked me up and we dove into the adventure. I pulled out all the supplies [which took quite awhile] as she asked what all that was for. I said we will see.{as I wasn't quite sure myself!} Excitement built.

We experimented with the decorating tips and then she took off and had the time of her life. The end results looked nothing like the picture of a month ago in the ad, but it was something that was HER masterpiece. She had a blast doing her own thing and spending the morning with me. She told me it was way better this way and she had a great time. Know what, so did I.

Sometimes my life seems like this. I have these great plans that are anticipated with great excitement only to have them changed by circumstances beyond my control. But when I give those plans to God they turn out surprisingly wonderful, "way better His way".

Proverbs 19:21
New International Version
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Based on what?

So many times I have based my happiness on what others think, or the ways they respond to me, or to my words or actions. This week that was made so very clear to me. I was feeling down because a member of the family that I thought should have contacted me didn't. This is were the thread of doubt started. Did I say something wrong? Was I supposed to call? Have I done something I shouldn't have? All these crazy thoughts and others like them swirled in my brain till I had a headache. Have you ever been there?  Was I seeking approval from a family member? Did I need that approval to be happy? It sure seemed like it. I was fretting until I made myself crazy. [not a long trip]

As I did my devotions God impressed on my heart that I was seeking approval in the wrong place. He reminded me that He is my joy. [Psalm 42:11The Message]
11 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.
He alone is the source of my joy? Yes, I need to be kind and loving but I can not make decisions for other people. I can not dictate their behavior. I need to choose each day, [for me some days it is each moment] to "fix my eyes on God" and praise Him. The next line tells me exactly what He is going to do;"put a smile on my face".  I had to tell myself a couple of time that the "joy of the Lord is my strength" that day but you know what, He did put a smile on my face! It doesn't matter what others think of me [when I am striving to do God's will] it only matters what He thinks of me! It is the same for you, don't let others govern how you feel each day, allow God to put a smile on your face!
Coffee for Your Heart