Friday, December 28, 2012


Grace.  It's my oldest child's middle name.  And, boy, do we both need it!   I absolutely love the hands-on lessons God teaches me through parenting my children.  Usually when I'm lecturing teaching my children about God's best for them I hear that still, small voice that is speaking those same words (only better) into my soul.  I've attempted much character training as the-blind-leading-the-blind.  I mess up in being patient, kind, loving, forgiving, etc. while I'm encouraging my kids how to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

I sinned against my oldest a week or so ago in an ugly-scary-momma kinda way.  As she sat on the bed crying,  we discussed that mommy had sinned in her anger and that mommy was wrong.  I asked her to forgive me, and for a very long 4 or 5 seconds she just continued looking down at the bed.  I held my breath.  She finally looked up at me smiling, arms spread and ready for hug and said, "Always, mommy!"  Now that's pretty awesome.  Grace extended to me by my 9 year old when I didn't deserve it.  How much more does my Father in heaven lavish me with His grace and mercy.  He's the Potter and I'm the stubborn clay.

I'm a mess.  A mess that God loves.  A mess that my children love.  A mess that God is, praise His name, not finished with.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I am so excited to have the opportunity to give a gift to my sister.  I presented her with a fun and easy way to preserve memories.  I had fun working on the first page of this scrapbook with the help of a pro, Mandy!  The book starts off with a handwritten letter to my nephew, Kasen...


You are here!  And you are precious.  Oh, how you have been prayed for.  I don't know at what point in your journey that you will read this but I pray my words will bless your heart.  You are only four months old but you have already stolen many hearts.  To gaze into your big, bright eyes is to know that there is a God in heaven.  A God who knit you together and brought you into this world for a purpose.  You see, while you are the first from your mother's womb that I have held, you are not the first I have loved.  You have two siblings awaiting in eternity.  My arms have ached to hold them.  Your parents' arms have ached and longed to hold them and look into their eyes.  But, Jesus needed to hold them first.  I know that one day they will greet me.  They will greet your parents.  I pray they will greet you as well.  God has set eternity in our hearts.  He has given us the opportunity to accept His Son as our savior so that we can worship Him as King of kings and LORD of Lords forever and ever.  When the Spirit calls you, listen.  Your path will be made straight and your burdens shared with Jesus.  I want nothing more for you than for you to love the Lord your God with all your heart.

You have my love and support, always.  I love your parents.  Your mom is an inspiration to me.  I am proud of her and I pray you will be as well.  I know that she is cherishing each moment with you.  You can hug her as often as you want to.  She has held you and rocked you and watched you grow.  When you were born I wept.  I wept with such joy.  I wept that your beautiful mother was finally holding the fruit of her labor.

You are wanted.   You are loved.  You are cherished.

Love,  Aunt Lilli

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I'm a cleaner.  Now, this doesn't mean that you can come to my house and not find dirt, clutter or dust!!!  I just like things clean and enjoy making them so, especially on Thursdays.  Thursdays are bathrooms, dusting, vacuum bedrooms and mopping day.  When do I vacuum the rest of the house you might ask...well, usually 5 times a week.  Some people would call that O.C.D. but I don't believe in labeling.  ;-)   Anyway.  For my birthday, drum roll please, I got a steam cleaner!  I took my birthday money and ordered something I've wanted for a looooong time.  Can I just say that I am over the moon for my new steam cleaner?  I picked one that detaches from the mop pole and has all kinds of attachments so you can travel around cleaning like a wild woman!  And, I have.  I had the best time cleaning everything I could get to.  (you have to try out all the attachments to make sure they work, right?)  I have steam cleaned baseboards, walls, doors, doorknobs, ceiling fans, countertops, nooks, crannies and even the agitator in the washing machine.  Am I the only person out there that cleans machines that themselves have the purpose of cleaning?  I mean, sometimes you need to vacuum out your vacuum.  I'm starting to sound O.C.D. so I better move on.

Despite how shiny and sterilized my doorknobs are, they will become covered with dirt and grime again and again no matter how much I wear out the steam cleaner.   Cleaning, de-cluttering, and freshening are not one-time deals, at least not if you want to maintain a clean and de-cluttered environment.  Cue segue.  Keeping your heart and mind clean and de-cluttered is not a one-time deal.  It's continual.  It's constant.  If you really want to ask God to search your heart and show you anything that doesn't look like Him, be ready for some deep cleaning.  God, if we are willing, will use all the "attachments" He has to get into our nooks and crannies.  He has the power to cleanse and not just sterilize but to sanctify.  Jesus will do in your heart only what you ask of Him.  May we desire regular maintenance of our hearts as well as some deep cleaning, even if it creates some steam! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Recently I tasked my oldest girls with some creative writing assignments.  I told them to write about life since Grandma and her husband have moved in.  Whatever they wanted to say as long as they were honest.  My purpose was to have them be reflective and to draw out any potential issues.  I am trying to be very mindful of any potentially harmful effects on them during this season.  Charlotte, whose servant heart humbles and amazes me, had me in tears with her completed assignment.  Me telling you won't do her pure and simple words justice.  I will show you.
I don't think, in this case, Jesus minds some misspelled words!

Here's an extra peek into Charlotte's heart just for fun! 
She's been studying Revelation!

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.  Matthew 19:14

My Isabelle. My joy!

It's Isabelle's birthday month.  That's right, we celebrate birthday months around here.  I love birthdays and celebrations.  It is hard to believe that my sweet Isabelle will be 9 years old on the 23rd.  9.  The last single digit year I get with her.  I am cherishing this time I have with her.   Because our family is often all together, I don't seem to get a lot of one-on-one time with my big girls unless it's for schoolwork.  So, when the opportunity arises for a one-on-one date night, we go!

Isabelle and some other music students played for the residents of a local nursing home.  Isabelle played two piano pieces and did very well.  She's gifted.  When we were done, I knew that if I offered for just she and I to go have dessert somewhere, she would be thrilled.  She finds joy in the little things.  She's good at rejoicing.  I mentioned going out for dessert.  Well, that was it.  Big eyes and a big grin told me that that was exactly what we were doing.  Now, where to go?  She thought about a blizzard but I told her that we could go sit down at a restaurant and order dessert.  Hmm...she had never done that so she had lots of questions because she wanted the experience and dessert to be just as good as a blizzard at D.Q.  I suggested Ruby Tuesday and she decided she would try it.

Oh, my!

That child read the dessert menu and descriptions aloud with such dynamic that anyone's palette would grow anxious.  She carefully pondered her options (she's like her momma that way) and after the waiter's 3rd attempt to take her order she had decided.  Double chocolate cake with creamy vanilla ice cream.  We did "cheers" with our cups of water and dug in.  She was glowing from the whole experience.  She said, "wow, I didn't know the dessert would look so pretty or taste so good."

My big girl ordered her very first grown up dessert in a real restaurant.  She was grinning from ear to ear.  Elated.  Full of joy.  It was contagious.  I couldn't help but smile and giggle with her.  She's ready to do it again.  And I know it's not just for the dessert so I look forward to next time as much as she does.  How fun.  What a blessing she is to me.  She is often my mirror, reflecting my imperfections a little too clearly.  We are teaching each other.  We understand each other.

Joy in the little things.  Sometimes that's what life is about.  That, and a little double chocolate cake!

So proud of my almost 9 year old.  Happy Birthday Month, honey!

I am proud of you!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas, lights, and me

I love, love, love Christmas time.  It is actually my most favorite time of the year.  I have very fond memories of family time together, listening to Christmas music, enjoying the lights at Callaway Gardens since their beginning, Christmas cantatas led by my Daddy, Pop & Granny's...ahh, Pop & Granny's.  My most favorite place to be as a child.  Miss them so much!

I could listen to Christmas music all the time.  If I had the room, I would keep a tree up all year long because I so enjoy the lights.  I'm a lights kinda girl.  We put approximately 1500-2000 lights on our tree each year.  Oh yeah, and the tree goes up on November 16th, my birthday.  I'm such a stickler for that that I had my husband promise that, if I died, he would continue to put up the tree on my birthday.  How morbid is that!  ;-)  I also tell people that my place in Heaven will be the one lit up with beautiful lights.  I'm just drawn to light.  I love to just lie beneath the tree and stare up at all the lights.  I don't care about lots of presents (although I do love a good gift).  Just the gathering and reflecting.   I just want everyone together and having fun even though the electricity bill is going up because of all my lights! 

All that to say, I'm struggling this year.  Struggling with celebrating, with consumerism, with what our culture has turned Christmas into.  And with what Christians have supported and gone along with.  Now, please don't hear any of the following words as judgmental but as me sharing my heart, and if God has something in the words for you, then they were worth me sharing.

My tree didn't go up on my birthday this year for many reasons.  We had just moved my grandmother and her husband into our home and we were leaving for a trip to KY for 2 weeks and, I'm just struggling.  I told my husband that I didn't care if the tree went up at all this year.  He fears I've been replaced by an alien.   The tree is up now and it's beautiful.  I've always enjoyed the lit tree and never let this culture spoil or taint what I have kept pure in my heart.  I'm not sure if my heart is now tainted or if God is changing my heart but I believe it is the latter.  What is this season about?  Yes, it's about Jesus' birth.  Let's all gather around Luke chapter 2 and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.  But, have we missed it?

Gift giving, of itself, is beautiful.  Jesus is God's gift to us.  His truth.  His forgiveness.  So, I have no problem with taking delight in providing for another's need or desire.  But I don't think that is always what is happening underneath all the packages and bows.  Unfortunately many gifts are given out of obligation, duty, or pity.  Some are given under the guise of fantasy and pretend gone a muck (for the record, I encourage imagination and pretending as long as reality is recognized for what it is.  May the credit and glory for the blessings in your life go to the One from whose hands they come!). Some gifts may be given with the thought that the more you spend, or the-bigger-the-better, the more love you are demonstrating.  I am glad that, in God's perfect timing, He demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners...  He came.  Not with pomp and circumstance but softly, tenderly, humbly, quietly, perfectly, The Word among men.

Immanuel.  Immanuel.  God with us.  God.  Creator.  Communicator.  Omnipotent.  Sovereign.  LORD of lords and KING of kings humbled Himself and came to be. with. us.  Among us.  God with us.  Jesus.  If you know Him, He is with us not just in December but always.  By Him and through Him all things were created.  Becoming more like Him.  That's what this life is all about.  As we become more like Him, we shine His light into this world's darkness.   He is Truth.  He is the Light of the world.  Did I mention that I love lights?  I pray that I'm drawn to the Light more than anything else.  The things of this earth really do grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  And not just during this season of cyber deals and door busters but year round.  We have the opportunity to be a city on a hill.  A light that cannot be hidden and that leads to Jesus. 

I don't know how the Lord will manifest Himself in your life but will you come with me and lie at His feet to behold the Light of the world?

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Life's journey can be inspiring, saddening, encouraging, scary, and...beautiful.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.  The key is perspective. 

My journey has crossed paths with many influential people.  Some influences are positive and some are negative.  Paths can cross for years, months, days or even just moments.  During my recent trip to Kentucky, I was able to enjoy precious moments with many people whose influence on my life has been significant to say the least.

I got to eat with Audrey, talk with Audrey, hug Audrey, drink coffee with Audrey, and did I mention eat? ;-)  Love me some Audrey (and her family)!!  I miss her terribly but all is well with kindrid souls be they near or far!

My family got to spend time with "The Harpers".  They are, well, family to us and we are always blessed by and at ease in their presence.   I think a Hewett-Harper vacation is necessary in the future!!

We visited my Aunt Vivian and got to meet Katie's beautiful daughter, Charleigh.  Watching Aunt Vivian be a Grammy is delightful especially knowing she once was blind but now has the sight to behold her granddaughter's expressions.  Garrett came by to say hello.  Our paths first crossed when I first carried him in my arms and now...he can carry my children around. Now that's a journey that makes me feel old!

I had an amazing afternoon full of words, tears, and joy with my Uncle James.    He and his family have profoundly affected my journey.  Uncle James is a beautiful soul.    We poured out our hearts and, as always, I walked away enriched and filled with things to ponder on for years to come. 

The impact others have on my life is based on perspective.  Thank you Lord for this journey and those who share it with me whether to teach, encourage, sharpen, or refresh.   I hope that even as I travel the difficult parts of my journey I can focus on Jesus and see my influences through His eyes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I love all of my children, but I get to appreciate different qualities I see in their individual character.  Isabelle is just like me so I get her most of the time (I don't always appreciate having a mirror of my own faults before me but that's a different topic).  Charlotte.  Well, she's a lot like her Daddy.  She's very logical.  She's also very thoughtful.  You put those two qualities together and you've got one smart kid! 
Here's a recent conversation to prove my point -

Charlotte:  How is a credit card really money?
Me:  Well, it's actually a promise to pay money. 
Charlotte:  Then why are they bad? 
Me:  hmmm, it's often poor decision making that gets people into trouble; not the card itself.
Charlotte:  How do credit cards work?  (see the logical side coming out?)
Me:  ~thinking of how to make by brain work like hers, I lay out a scenario~
  1. Go to grocery store and buy $60 worth of groceries with a credit card which means you are promising to pay that at some point.
  2. Credit card company sends a bill for $60 which you are supposed to pay but the company is so nice that they only require you to pay $10 per month, which you plan to do for 6 months.
  3. Because the credit card company is nice enough to allow you an extension on your promised payment of $60, they will charge you $2 per month that you still owe them money.
Me:  So Charlotte, how much did you pay for your $60 worth of groceries?
Charlotte:  72 dollars.  That's like wasting money.

And there you have it.  Such wisdom from the mouth of my 7 year old!  I love it.  Plain, simple and honest. 

I have been one willing to waste money on things like credit card interest before.  The Lord opened my eyes and with His guidance and provision, no more!  Not to say that I am never wasteful because I'm sure I have and will spend money on non-necessities.  But I have come to truly hate debt...I desire so much to be completely free from it.  Even though the only debt we have is our mortgage, I hate it.  Now, I know it's viewed as an investment and I suppose it is but when I look at what we borrowed for our house and what we're actually going to pay for it in the end, I'm nauseous.

We are either good stewards or bad stewards.  Stewards of our time, talents, resources and specifically, money.  We can be wasteful or resourceful.  Logical.  Please think about how you spend everything the Lord has entrusted you with.  If I had one wish for people during this heightened consumer driven time of the year, it would be for them to pause before wasting. If my 7 year old can grasp that choosing debt is wasteful...

If you must be in debt, be indebted to a God that sent His Son to pay a debt you could never pay yourself.  There is a reason that God wants us free from the entrapment and entanglements of this world. 

Free.  Jesus paid it all.  All to Him I owe.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Laughing at the days to come

My agenda.  Key word there is my.  My agenda for the week, which I submitted to God, was to have no more health crisis or emergencies in my family's life.  Apparently I should have included no damage requiring home repairs...

*Disclaimer - No one is hurt!*

My family has had some major changes recently.  My grandmother's husband, Chuck, is quite unsteady and has difficulty getting around.  Today, coming in the house following a doctor's appointment, he lost his balance...I couldn't catch him.  Our living room window did.  Amazingly, he is not hurt.  If he had hit the window directly in the middle, he would have gone completely thru and onto the front porch and likely been cut up pretty badly.  After helping him up and discovering that he was not hurt we just continued on with lunch for everyone, periodically laughing because, really, what else can you do?  Nobody is hurt.  No hospital.  No stitches.  So, we get some new windows...we needed them anyway.  And my living room gets vacuumed twice in one day which makes me happy.  And...

As my husband says, this is why you keep junk...then you can board up broken windows from spare stuff you have out back.

Plus, Isabelle and Charlotte were able to go to Home Depot with their Daddy.  I'm sure there's a school lesson to be had there!  ;-)

Now I know why the Proverbs 31 woman laughs at the days to come.   Even fools can laugh!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Playing the Fool

So far, this week month is coming close to putting me in the funny farm...thankfully, Grandma's Home Health therapists and nurses have not felt led to call DFACS upon leaving my house!  ;-) 

God's strength and grace are sufficient!  So why is it that there are moments my attitude doesn't reflect that truth???  Because sometimes I play the fool.  The Bible has much to say about fools...

My frustration and weariness over being constantly talked to or needed by someone is overwhelming me right now.  I JUST NEED 10 MINUTES ALL BY MYSELF WHERE NO ONE CAN NEED ME!!!  I don't know about you but when my insides start screaming this message, my outside soon reflects it.   Now, while some time alone to refresh can be beneficial, most of this message coming from within my heart is full of selfishness.  (Right now, my toddler who has only cried when put down for a nap maybe twice in the last year is crying...really, Lord?  really?  Totally not what I want right now.  Nap time is for ME!...and she only naps about 45-60 minutes...that can't be too much to ask)  You hear the selfishness there? I do.  Loud and clear.

I can't believe how hard this dying to the flesh stuff is.  How constant.  And how diligent I must be in my walk with the Lord.  I just need a break!  Well, the promises within God's word for breaks or strength or lifted burdens don't say "turn to yourself" or "take time for yourself" or "you deserve a break"...on the contrary, to have our head and spirit lifted, we are to look away from ourselves.  Time away from the demands of this life is not about us.  It's about receiving what God has for us so we can get on with the Father's business. The focus is to always be on Jesus.  He puts our circumstances into perspective.  He tells us to keep going ("keep going" was the message of my morning devotion and this should have been my first clue to the kind of day I would have).  He reminds us of His sovereignty.  He holds us and loves us.  We can't experience His awesome love unless we are looking at Him, relying on Him, focusing on Him, listening to Him.

So, here I go...I shall take my 10+ minutes all by myself and somehow end up in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru (I can't help it that the Physical Therapist came at lunch time which happened to coincide with my meltdown).   I begin crying.  Releasing. And then unloading.  Now, I'm a big fan of honesty...the Lord knows what is in our hearts and I'm not afraid to go to Him with my messy heart.  But I was angry.  I was ranting.  Wait a minute...the Spirit has been preparing me for this.  "Stop", He says.  "Remember the verse I gave you a couple days ago?"  A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11  (Isn't it just like God to be right?!?)  Apparently, full venting of one's anger is not productive and certainly not biblical.  The Bible has much to say against anger. 

Just what I want to hear when I'm venting.

Okay, so it actually is what I want to hear when I'm venting, or sinning in any way.  God's voice.

He speaks to me!  To me.  A fool.  My heart wanders.  My faults abound.  My selfish flesh is strong.  But, there is a God in Heaven!  I am His child.  He will guide and direct my paths.  He will strengthen me.  He will be my joy.  He will be my portion.  Kinda sounds like this life should be all about Him...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Count it all Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  James 1:2-3
Apparently, I'm slated for Perseverance 101; Teacher - God

What an adventure my family has begun.  As crazy and chaotic as our lives have been and as often as I've been overwhelmed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, my joy is in the LORD and He strengthens me and gives me peace.  I appreciate the moments of laughter and sunshine found in our present difficulties.  Go ahead, laugh with me...
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.  James 4:17
Do you think that verse applies to retrieving Grandma's dentures when she asks?  LOL  In order for this not to be gross, it must be funny!

Along with Grandma and husband, Chuck, came their poodle...a boy poodle...a boy poodle named Buffy.  Seriously?

Grandma has NEVER kept a balance in her checkbook, and the only transactions she records are checks she has written.  This must remain in the laugh-it-off category so that I don't scream!

Madelynn knows how to turn off Grandma's oxygen machine. Okay, so that sounds serious rather than funny but we have resolved the issue.  It happening one time can be funny.  ;-)

I have much to rejoice over! 
Wonderfully supportive and involved husband
Fabulously loving children
Opportunity to live out Christ's amongst the lost
Precious moments of renewed perspective
Friends praying and cooking for us!!!  (great demonstration of Christ's love for the lost to see and yummy)

Today, most of all, I'm rejoicing over my God being a God of details.  I marvel at His faithfulness to me.  What He orchestrates just to reach my heart and refresh my soul amazes me.  He reminds me that I'm not the center of the universe (I need to be reminded of this frequently) and, yet, He reminds me of His personal touch in my life. 
Yesterday He sent a sweet friend, Claire, to be His mouthpiece of confirmation and encouragement. 

Today, I silently worshiped Him as my Bible study ladies sang my most favorite hymn.  I love singing to the Lord but I was unable to today.  I just listened to His praise from the lips of His daughters.  Kings and kingdoms.  Oh, they'll all pass away.  But there's something about that name.  Jesus.  My savior, friend, and intercessor.  He intercedes for me!  Because of that...

I have learned the secret of being content...And I can do everything through him who gives me strength...even take care of dentures!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I wouldn't consider myself a servant, not even of Jesus.  I'm pretty selfish!!  Sure, I do things for other people and God has been WORKING on my servant heart and attitude.  I work at being kind and considerate to my husband, my children, and those I connect with on a regular basis.  I'm sure that loving my family and friends is pleasing to the Lord but...what about truly serving when it is not so easy.  In Matthew and Luke the Bible says that even sinners will display love when it's easy.

This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least.  More on that later.  Our family is making arrangements for my grandmother and her husband to come and live with us temporarily until something long term can be figured out.  Dramatically changing the family dynamic... Dramatically

The whirlwind has made quality time with my girls and husband sparse this week.  We've been making a concerted effort to connect and communicate.  Sometimes you just gotta step out of the whirlwind, spend $20 and have lunch as a family so that you can talk, laugh, cry and sing.  Yes, sing.  Not a corny-musical-break-out-into-song singing (although I do love a good musical).  Beautiful singing.

We asked our big girls what they were thinking about all the changes happening for us.  What do you like best?  What do you like least?  What scares you?  What worries you?  Their answers were honest, but some were unexpected.  They're scared that my grandma and husband are going to die without knowing Jesus.  I was kind of expecting to talk about many of the "inconveniences" we will experience because of all of this and help the girls desire to unselfishly serve.  No, they are ready to love, to serve, to continue pouring the Gospel into lost souls.  I explained that this is a wonderful opportunity to serve.  God wants us to continually humble ourselves and consider others more than ourselves.  I said that we get to do that on a continual basis to some family that don't understand the love of the One True ones maybe not so easy to love and serve...

My sweet Charlotte started singing
Make me a servant, humble and meek;
Lord, let me lift up those who are weak;
And may the pray'r of my heart always be:
Make me a servant, make me a servant,
Make me a servant today.

and I started crying.

Nothing could be sweeter than that.  The love of Jesus coming out of your children.  How God must feel when He's able to pour His love out of us.  But to pour out His love, we must first be filled with it. 

I could hardly keep from blubbering and going to the ugly cry.  My children get it.  I'm sure they will remind me when I forget.  I get to serve alongside my children.  How awesome is that!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I love people.  I'm a people watcher.  I mentioned that I enjoy a good opportunity to ponder.  Observing people can lead to some deep thinking.  I've been thinking on some categories that contain both people I know as well as strangers only known by my momentary observation of them.

Logically straight-forward - The people who say what they mean and mean what they say and they make sense while doing it, for any other way to act would be nonsense, of course.  My sweet husband and dear friend, Christina have blessed me with their logic!

Welcomers - People like my parents.  Always looking for ways to add to their family tree as they love and welcome all who are sent their way.  True hospitality.

Oblivious - The ones that drive in the fast line of the highways knowing no one else is possibly on the road with them.  The ones that take up the entire aisle at the grocery store without batting an eye.

Fun - The ones that always make you laugh!!  The ones that will break out into song with you at any given moment.

Interesting - A little "off".  You know the ones!!!!  ;-) 

Runners - People running their race with endurance, like Lisa.  Taking everything they learn along the way as fuel to keep going and share and bless those they're running along side!

Sickeningly sweet - People that will manipulate and excuse any behavior with a southern accent and a smile...

Listeners - Those like my Audrey that not only hear your words but always seek to hear your heart.

Rude - Those who cannot take their eyes off their electronic devices to look into yours.  (kind of a huge pet peeve of mine)

Anonymous - Those who have blessed our family without earthly recognition.

Broken - Those whose ashes have yet to become beauty.  Seek the Lord.  He will bind up your wounds and do AMAZING things.  Isaiah 61!

Prayer warriors - Those that will storm Heaven for you.  Those like Mandy, that will come and find you when your husband is going to have emergency surgery and be the arms of Jesus, holding you while you wait.

Close - Those close enough to your heart to actually hurt when you are hurting and rejoice when you are rejoicing.  Many have had this role for me but none like my sister.

There are many more.  Some that encourage, some that tear down.  Some that drive me crazy, some that drive me crazier.  Some that cause pain, some that mend my heart.  The thing is...all of them can have the same purpose if I let them.  I choose whether my encounters with those I know, those I love, and those I don't know make Jesus my focus or my feelings and circumstances my focus.   
I choose

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23   Let Jesus be the filter for what goes and in and out of your heart.  I pray He will heal the wounds and confusion left in the wake of my sinful nature and I pray He will guard my heart.  You couldn't ask for a better Protector!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Beginning of Ponderings

Well, here goes. 
I fancy myself a over-analyzer ponderer.  I soak things in.  Deep.  In fact, I've been over-analyzing blogging for quite some time.  Time.  And purpose.  That's what I've been waiting on.  I'm not sure what shape this blog will take but I know that it will offer me a way to organize some of my ponderings.  If I'm the only one that actually reads the words, I'm okay with that.   If there are few or frequent updates, I'm okay with that. 

What I desire is to put what is within my heart in black and white; be it beautiful, ugly, silly, inspiring or worrying.

I am seeking after the Lord and finding how pure and beautiful that is.  He is growing and changing my heart and I hope I never ask Him to stop, even though a dear friend and I frequently discuss bringing the easy flannel-graph-Jesus back into our lives to make things easier.  ;-)  Fluffy Jesus.  The Jesus that doesn't go any deeper than being your Savior.  Oh, how the fact that I even need a Savior is deep and enlightening.  Although staying in the shallow end seems appealing, it leaves me moving Bible figures around on a flannel-graph and wasting this vapor of a life I have been given.

Deeper.  Real.  Defaulting to the things of the Spirit and not the flesh.  

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language...Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:8 & 12 These verses tell me that I have a long way to go but I hope I never stop moving closer to the Heart of my Creator, Savior, Friend and Lord.

The things the Lord has led our family to change or be more faithful to obey in have been painful only to the flesh...How beautiful I have come to see obedience.   I didn't say easy.  I said beautiful.  Beautiful is seldom easy.  Look at the journey from caterpillar to butterfly.  Hold a long-awaited newborn.  Look at God's plan of redemption.  Beautiful...

I hope that getting a glimpse into this journey that I am stumbling along will cause you to smile, seek the Lord, encourage others, but, most of all, to ponder!