Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Overwhelmed With Life…

I don’t know who should receive credit for the words below. I saved this at some point because it was full of wisdom. Then, I decided to post it one year ago on Facebook and today it popped us as a memory.  We have experienced some difficult times of late and yesterday we got some unexpected bad news added to the mix. You know that feeling…straw that broke the camel’s back kind of thing with the ugly cry to boot. 

It has to be a “God thing” that this post from the past appeared before me to read once again this very morning. In the words were the perspective I needed to get my mind and emotions back on track.  Isn’t God good…even when He kicks you in the pants with your own post!  I think He wants me to share this with you today, too.  Maybe it will speak to the heart of someone in a special way and restore an attitude of praise despite any situations at hand.  To God Be the Glory!

 

“This is one of the secrets of the most successful people in the world. They know how to draw encouragement and strength from the inside. They do it by replaying in their minds the victories that they have had in the past. They rehearse over and over the good things that have happened to them. They also live in an attitude of thanksgiving.
Whenever you’re in difficult times and are tempted to get down, don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t replay over and over all the reasons why it won’t work out, and how impossible it is. Instead change the channel. Get the remote control. That’s not the only channel. Start replaying all the good things that have happened in your life.
Every one of us has had victories in our lives. A key to encouraging ourselves is to replay those victories. As you remember the great things that have happened to you, faith will fill your heart, strength and courage will come from the inside.
No matter what you’re facing and no matter how difficult it looks, you’ll know deep down that God didn’t bring you this far to leave you where you are. If He did it for you in the past, He’ll do it again for you in the future.
Replay the miracles in your mind. You cannot stay down and defeated as long as you’re thinking about the good things that have happened in your life.
Feel free to share this if you got value and you wanna help someone else.”

 

The Free Printable Story

 

Forgiven 8×10 Free Print :: Click Here  or Click on “Freebies” at top of Home Page

8x10 Free Print

I love to pin Printables on Pinterest, print them out, frame them and use them to decorate my home seasonally for pennies! You may have noticed that I already have several free printables under “Freebies” on my website. I had someone else create the others for me, set up the “Freebie page,” and post them there because I didn’t have a clue how to do it. (Thank you Kaitlyn Bouchillon!)

This printable, however basic and novice it appears, it special because I worked hard to figure out all the elements needed to do this on my own.  After many hours of research, failure, work and prayer, I finally came up with a finished product. I was literally screaming with it excitement (sorry neighbors!) when the print was finally placed on the “Freebie”page. That in itself was a challenge between links and URL mumbo jumbo!

However, I have learned so much including that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Now I want to encourage you to do the same.  If there is something you have wanted to do or try, get after it.  It may take time and work, but I promise you the joy that comes with the finished product or accomplished goal is worth it.  If you don’t know where to start or if you get stuck and frustrated along the way as I did, no prayer is too small. Ask Jesus to open your mind for the understanding you need. I am here to say He will do it!

Step out, be brave and go for it! I am rooting for you! To God Be the Glory!

(You will have to trim this page down it to fit into an 8×10 frame.)

The Song I Promised!

Hello, All! Here’s the song I promised. This song by David Crowder was going through my mind when I wrote the last post “Don’t Look Back.” It is one of my new favorites! Enjoy and God Bless! Rest in knowing that if you know Christ  you are “Forgiven.”

*Check in tomorrow for a new Free Print to Download! It will be under FREEBIES on the Home page. 🙂

Don’t Look Back!

On occasion, the storefront of an antique shop draws me in to browse even though I am not a collector. The visit is often like a walk down memory lane bringing fond memories to mind. However, the contents remind me that I am old enough to have once owned or used things now classified as antiques. Yikes!   

In this shop, I spotted the blonde Chatty Cathy my sister, Cindy, had  in the original box. Antique store Cathy was in mint condition, unlike Cindy’s, which was practically bald for most of its useable years. I had to laugh as I thought of how hers looked and how I had to hide my brunette version to keep it from being scalped!

Next, there was the old metal Igloo cooler which provided many cups of cold water consumed at my grandparents pre-Civil War home during the hot summer months where my siblings and I would fight to get in front of the box fan to cool down.

Finally, on a crowded shelf I spotted a mushroom canister set exactly like Eddy and I had received as a wedding gift almost 36 years ago. I will never forget crying my eyes out when I broke one of the canisters not long after receiving the set. Nor will I forget how my sweet husband calmed me down and glued every piece back into place.

I could lie and say “those were the good old days,” but they weren’t necessarily. My parents divorced during the Chatty Cathy era and life as broke newlyweds was definitely a challenge far beyond a broken canister. The answer lies in what you choose to focus on… the  good times or the bad.

And so it is in our walk as Christians. I believe and know from my experience that Satan loves to take us for walks down “not so good” memory lane to revisit our failures and past sins. The way is dark and the emotions elicited are guilt, shame, and unworthiness. Satan, the great deceiver, the author of confusion has an agenda. He wants us to believe there is no way with these sins looming in our past that God could truly love and accept us.

I believe even the strongest of Christians fall under these Satanic attacks.  At our weakest moment Satan will pound us with reminders of our past sins and, if we are not armored up (Eph. 6), we may fall prey to his scheme. We will forget that God has clothed us in the righteousness of Christ. (Rom. 3:24, 2 Cor. 5:21) We will forget He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) We will allow what God has forgiven and forgotten to cause distance in our relationship with Him.

Herein lies the answer whether you are a child of God or someone seeking the love, peace and forgiveness found in Christ.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14)

Press on toward the call of Jesus. Rebuke Satan and his minions as they attempt to lure you from your walk with Christ into some ditch to watch black and white movies of your forgiven, forgotten past! Say yes to the promises of Christ for your life. Seek His assurance and strength in the life-giving words of the Bible. Set your mind on the hope and future He has for you! To God Be the Glory!

Stop by tomorrow for a song that drives this all the way home. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Even If

For the past five days, our son, Ben, has been visiting us. His diagnosis on the Autism spectrum makes change a challenge. This trip counts as his second visit to our new apartment home in Huntsville. Ben usually fills his time with eating, sleeping and trips to Walmart.  However, Huntsville is a new frontier for him with new things to see and do. His usual hesitancy about doing anything out of the norm was replaced with a willingness to explore his new environment…nothing short of answered prayer.

Ben was excited about a trip we had scheduled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It was  a miracle that he did not get bogged down in the gift shop just inside the entrance of the center. Ben was not interested in the written information displayed on exhibits throughout the buildings. His interests were strictly visual and there was so much to see!

On the second pass by the rock wall, Ben paused and said he wanted to give it a try.  Two very patient, kind Space Camp workers helped make this happen. Once he was in the harness, Ben shot up the wall with ease, his dad and I encouraging him every bit of the way.  Ben was so very proud of himself and the accomplishment. My heart was full because he had overcome his fear to enjoy a new experience which seldom occurs.

As we prepared to leave, Ben was combing the gift shop for a t-shirt when he had a seizure, probably due to overstimulation during our time there.  As usual, people stare as we explain we have the situation under control.  Ben has been having seizures since he was eighteen months old. On the outside we look calm and collected as we handle the few minutes involved, which seem like twenty, but on the inside our hearts break every time.

Ben’s life limited by autism and seizures has been the object of our prayers and the prayers of countless prayer warriors. We have prayed for mental progress, for healing from seizures, for a less combative personality.  Praise God the seizures have lessened, but the medications that bring that control also affect his mental acuity and impulsivity.

Doing the 29 years of Ben’s life, my emotions have ranged from anger with God, to deep despair, and now, finally, faith in God for every aspect of Ben’s life. But I am human. This doesn’t mean I have no grief and “mama’ pain in my heart, because I do. But God is sovereign, Ben is His child and He has a hope and a future for him. (Jer. 29:11) It is my job to trust and have faith in this plan.

My life experience is not unique. Each of you reading this most likely has an area in your life of pain and struggle that affects you daily, probably even more profoundly that Ben’s problems affect me. God is there for you in the very best and more importantly the very worst of times.  He sees your heart, knows your needs, and provides strength for every situation you face. The choice is whether you continue to focus on the situation or on God and His power to carry you through it. When your thoughts center on Christ and His promises, you will find it easier in the even ifs to say it is well with my soul. Please turn to Him, seek His face and hold tightly His hand. Enjoy this powerful song! To God Be the Glory!

Look Closer

With our recent move, my husband, Eddy, and I have come full circle.  We began our marriage in an apartment and, after many years of home ownership, we are once again apartment dwellers.      

Directly behind our building is a nicely paved walking trail. It was late Fall when we moved in and leafless trees didn’t make for the greatest scenery.  As a further distraction, either side of the pathway is littered with dead, fallen trees which seem to accent the absence of color and beauty.

As a photographer, I have learned that during the winter months, you have to search harder for subject matter.  A few days ago, I set off on the walking trail with camera in hand to look closer, past the drabness to capture something of beauty.

As you can see from these pictures, there was color and even a rock turned into a dining table for a squirrel. There it was. Life and beauty.  Have you ever felt as though your life was stuck in the lackluster months of winter? My hand is up! I know I have. The seasons outside my window were changing but my life felt stuck in a never-ending, lifeless winter.

God chronicles this so beautifully in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 beginning with, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” God uses whatever season we are in to mold and shape us into His likeness. After years of fighting the seasons to no avail, I have learned to embrace each one, all the while looking closer for what God intends for me to  and see and learn.

There is the beauty of His constant presence and love in the pain.  There are the sweet whispers of encouragement in His word. There is a wealth greater than gold in the lessons learned and maturity gained that takes my mind off the circumstances of my season and sets my focus on Him.

As a camera requires focus for the best picture, our lives require focus for the best outcome. We have a choice. Either we look solely at the dead trees littering our landscape or we intentionally focus on the beauty of the blessings we walk through every day.

In whatever season you find your life, challenge yourself to look closer, to see God all around you…by your side, on your side. See the beauty you have looked past. Ask Him to open your eyes.  To God Be the Glory!

 

 

Rest

The last five months have been a rocky ride.  It began with discovering my husband waiting in the parking lot for me as I left work one ordinary Tuesday.  I walked towards him with a big grin on my face because I thought we were about to go to Subway for supper and I wouldn’t have to cook! Yay!

As he rolled down his window, he said something usually benign…”Guess what happened today.” Before I could ask, a second sentence was on the way. “I lost my job.” Eddy, a physical therapist of 34 years, has given this profession his heart and soul. Loved by patients and respected by doctors, this just couldn’t be possible.

At that point I got into his truck and we, yes, headed to Subway for supper and to talk through the details of this crazy, unbelievable statement.

We encountered God’s daily grace and an extra measure of during this time.  The offer of a new job took us out of the state of Mississippi for the first time in our 35 years of marriage.  The process of finding a job and securing a professional license in a new state took three months. Those three months embodied some emotional stress.

Then came the move…the physical stress. Moving is not for sissies! I just kept thinking that soon this will all be over and I can rest.  I would not be working initially and that thought carried me through the packing and unpacking of every box. However, when things settled down and the time for “rest” arrived, I was unable to truly embrace it.  I even felt guilty having the coveted time to relax and unwind which is understandable because I am the poster child for Type A personality traits!

My daily quiet time includes a passage from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. The most recent offerings have focused on rest and seeking God’s face.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn for me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, will I seek. (Psalm 27:8)

There is rest for us regardless how insurmountable our circumstances seem or how exhausted we are.  There is emotional, physical, but most importantly spiritual rest found in Jesus.  Time to find a quiet place away from the frenzy to seek His face. Trade the cumbersome yoke of burdens you have chosen for the yoke of Christ…a yoke offering rest for your soul…a rest that extra sleep, a vacation or anything this world offers can come close to touching.

I will leave you with a song and a prayer that we (myself included) find this spiritual rest so graciously offered us the through love and sacrifice of Christ!  To God be the Glory!