God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

What Would You Do?

 

 

It was a beautiful day at the zoo. A memory making, sunshine filled, smile inducing kind of day. I sat relaxing in the shade as the kids climbed on the giant tree themed playground. Parents sat all around in nearby chairs. So many families were enjoying the day that some stood around due to the lack of places to sit. Two families standing in front of the tree caught my eye. One woman commented to another, “I think she’s lost.” The other turned from packing a stroller and looked up, “Yes, I think she is.” “That’s great”, I thought. “Just look at those safety conscious moms.”

What happened next shocked me. I felt like I had just become part of a scene in the “What Would You Do?” tv show. A show in which people are tested with different scenarios to see if people will chose to do the right thing. My eyes searched for the child. There she was. She was probably five. I expected the two women to take her hand and help her. I saw something quite different. The women gathered their children and left. They did nothing to help this lost child. NOTHING.

My attention turned to the little girl. She didn’t look distraught. No tears were on her face. She began to wonder her way into the building attached to the playground. That’s when I knew she was lost. I sat stunned. I still could not believe those people had done nothing. A few moments later, it finally hit me. I felt like I’d just been punched in the stomach. A sick feeling crept into my body. I did nothing. I could have taken that child by the hand and helped her. I let her walk right into a potentially dangerous situation. She needed help. I didn’t give it.

I kept waiting for the “What Would You Do?” guy to step in at this point. The guy who brings a microphone and tells you, “It’s okay none of this was real.” He never came. Someone did come. The child’s parents. They walked out of the building and called their children. One came. Another came, but the third was no where to be seen. The parents looked at each other and quickly went in the building to find their child. I still couldn’t get over it. I began to pray for the parents. Can I tell you it felt like way too little way too late? I could have stepped in. I didn’t.

All of this happened in the blink of an eye.

Sometimes that’s all we have to make a difference.

The Blink of  an eye.  

That’s why I need God. I can’t be trusted to chose right as a reflex. I just can’t. I’m a lost child, too. I’m lost without God. I’m lost without his love in my life. I can’t bridge the giant chasm between me and my creator. All I can really do is take the dive. I can jump off the cliff that separates me from him and be caught by the net of his mercy and grace. That’s the kind of love to get all tangled up in.  The kind of love that makes you want to be so close to the one who saved you that you don’t really know where He ends and you begin. The kind that speaks to my heart, hears my soul, yet still loves me more than I’ll ever deserve. That’s the kind of love everyone needs. Why would I want to keep that to myself? Why would I choose to see a lost child and not step in?

Someone needs to hear why I hope, why I love, why I live now. I want to have a reflex reaction with the lost. I want them to be found. The time is short, I may only have the blink of an eye.

I don’t know what happened to that child. (Just a moment after the child went in the building, her parents stepped out. They quickly went in to find her. I didn’t see the reunion.)

I do know what will happen to the person who doesn’t know Jesus. No happy reunion. Forever separated from God. Just like this little girl, a lost person doesn’t always look lost. She is the woman next to you in line or the mom you just met in PTA. He’s the guy sitting next to you at the football game. He may have the biggest heart. She may be the best mom. That doesn’t make them any less lost. He needs you. She needs you. Hold out your hand. Lead them to the most loving Father they will ever know. Lead them home. You could change a life forever in the blink of an eye.

 

 

Advertisement
3 Comments »

“You Don’t Look Like You Have That Many Kids!”

Bethany Beckett is today’s special guest blogger on God’s Girl. Bethany is a Jesus-lovin’, great style rockin’, army wife and wisdom filled mama of 6 boys who currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. She has the gift of organization and a knack for all things crafty.

You can visit her website at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhimsicalTree to order her homemade items for children and the home, but please read her blog post first!

“You Don’t Look Like You Have That Many Kids!!!”

Today I prepare my wardrobe for the adventures ahead regarding the errands for they day… comfy jeans, sneakers, and my “Yes, all those kids are mine” t-shirt. You see, I am a mother to 6 wonderful boys and beginning to “rock out” my newest “baby bump” for little one number 7.

We all load up the Chevy Traverse and begin our day.

I have a strict routine of running all of my errands in the same day… Yes, it means a very long day and sometimes a handful of meltdowns, but I have found that time, gas, and energy are saved this way. It’s much easier to knock out groceries, post office, doctor’s appointments, and bank trips all at once, than to have to dress, pack snacks, etc., for all of us, numerous days of the week. I call it “one stop shop” although most times, it involved quite a few more than one or two “stops”. Nonetheless… We load up for our day.

We get to the Army Hospital where all of our care is, since my husband is active duty, and today we have 3 children with back-to-back appointments.  As we unload the SUV I take a glimpse at my wonderfully large family and chuckle to myself about how we somewhat resemble a clown car, one by one exiting the “what seems too small for our family on the outside” vehicle.

With one in the stroller, 2 holding on to my sides, and the others following, we resemble a family of ducks headed into the building. As I walk inside and pass all the other patrons, I hear whispers of “oh, my! “all boys!,” and “1…2…3…4…5…” I proudly hold my head up high (because this time they are all behaving well) and continue on to our destination.

I wait patiently in line to check in at the counter as my little guys all grab seats and peruse the selection of tableside magazines. I think to myself “success!” and smile inside. My turn arrives and I approach the desk. The pleasant receptionist smiles at me and raises her eyebrows in a surprised expression and states, “Wow! You do NOT look like you have had that many kids!” Politely I smile back at her and reply, “Thank you,” as I let out a slight chuckle. But honestly, what am I supposed to look like?

Perhaps if I looked like I had “six kids and counting” I would have 8 arms, like an octopus! One for each little hand to hold on to, and two to do laundry, dishes, cooking, and the like.

Maybe I’m supposed to have untamed hair with Legos sticking out of matted tangles.

Perhaps every time I went somewhere I would wear evidence of my children on my clothing. Like the time I went to work with half of a strawberry pop tart sticking to my cardigan like a broach on my shoulder-blade.

Maybe the perception of motherhood has been so distorted by society that everyone forgets about the joy children are… I promise you that I have more laugh lines than I do frown.

While I understand and agree that raising children is exhausting and often sleep-depriving, I think that some people assume that mothers of many could only possibly look ragged and worn out. I mean, if one child is a lot of work, it must multiply for each additional child, right? Not always… If I broke down how I felt into percentages of happy, exhausted, hungry, ambitious, etc., and I was 20% exhausted with one child, that doesn’t mean that I’m 40% exhausted with two, and so forth… No, it just simply that the scale changes. The balance stays the same.

Or maybe because I have so many children I am expected to carry that extra bit of “baby weight” with each one. Honestly, chasing around this many tots would keep almost anyone in shape! And don’t you remember the times you made yourself a plate of dinner and your little one begged for a bite? Multiply that. Sometimes I feel like I never get to eat! Haha! Although I know that is not true. They just help me avoid overeating. Except for the Oreos I secretly stash in my bedside table drawer.

So what are we moms with children, especially ‘that many’ children, supposed to look like? I think I can help some out with that…

We are supposed to look like Christ.

Every child I have had has helped shape me into a better person. They have made me less selfish, more loving, more understanding, compassionate, resilient, persevering, more giving. I can see joy in little things, like finding a dragonfly for them to marvel and wonder at. I enjoy the smiles of innocence in playing in rain puddles. I cook awesome, yet budget friendly meals. I teach them to pray. I teach them to love. Laughter and playing are an everyday occurrence in our house. And so are little spats, naturally. But video games, lack of socialization, selfishness, and greed are not. I think our time with our children, and their time with their siblings is to be treasured. And so often that time just gets away from us and passes us by.

So, while, to some, I may not look like I have this many kids, neither does the mother of one who is sitting along side of me, face deep into her smartphone, while her child rolls around loudly on the floor simply seeking her attention, or begging to play her phone while they wait.

Leave a comment »

Back to School: The Tale of a New Christian

 

Remember your first day of a new school year?

Everything crisp and clean.

New boxes of crayons and newly sharpened pencils tucked inside your favorite backpack.

Excitement lingering in the air.

New friends to meet.

New possibilities.

Remember taking that first day of school photo?

You wore the biggest smile.

You put on your best clothes.

 

Everything was just how it should be.

Whole.

Complete.

Nothing missing.

Perfection.

 

Then the first test came.

Whether it was Science test you bombed or the friends who asked you to pick sides.

There was always a test.

Suddenly, everything wasn’t so crisp and clean anymore.

Life began to get messy.

Mornings got harder.

Those perfect crayons and pencils were soon broken or lost.

You didn’t get the fun teacher for math.

Nope, you got the mean one.

The one you were certain wanted to ruin your social life with demanding amounts of homework and tests from hell.

Pretty soon, you found your heart yearning for summer.

 

When I became a Christian, I started out with that “Fall” attitude.

Full of energy.

Ready to go.

“Lord, send me!”

 

The Christian life seemed perfect.

Sunshine and a happy heart.

No problems from now on.

Jesus solved them all for me when He died on the cross.

 

I became a part of something.

I belonged with others like me, the Christian crowd was my home now.

I would never be lonely, confused or hurt again.

 

Then came the test.

My non-Christian friends knew I had changed, but I was still trying to fit in with them while telling them about my faith.

It wasn’t working.

The Christian crowd wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, either.

They could be cruel at times.

They seemed preoccupied.

To some of them “realness” seemed to pose a threat.

They had their “clicks”, too.

Loneliness set in.

 

I felt like the new kid walking into the cafeteria on the first day of school.

Where would I be able to sit?

It seemed I didn’t truly belong in either group.

 

Another test soon followed.

The things happening in my life hurt at times.

I had problems.

Real ones.

Ones that couldn’t be fixed by a cheery saying or a half-hearted promise of someone to pray for me.

No one told me this would happen.

I thought I was supposed to live happily ever after.

 

Soon dark clouds began to form over my sunny heart.

Questions formed.

Doubts developed.

Maybe I wasn’t a good enough Christian.

Maybe I should just try harder.

What was happening here?

Was I even saved?

 

Just like those perfect crayons in the fall, I began my journey as a Christian ready to be used.

Soon the new faded.

I began to feel like a box of crayons halfway through the school year.

I was coming unraveled.

I didn’t have my life together.

I had lots of broken pieces.

How could God use those?

I wondered if God could ever use a messed up person like me.

 

Could He ever put me back together again?

I wanted to impress God by being that perfectly sharpened pencil.

I didn’t want to break under the pressure.

I had to show Him that I could handle it.

 

That’s when I got it.

That’s when I understood.

I could not handle it.

He had to handle it for me.

Every time I wrestled with my sin, I seemed to come out on the losing end.

He didn’t die to make me perfect.

He died because I needed saving.

I still do.

Everyday.

 

How could I ever feel completely at home here?

I can’t.

I had become a citizen of heaven, leaving me feeling like a foreigner in a land where I once felt comfortable.

Now, I knew what the bible meant when it said, “Be in the world, not of it.”

Something clicked.

How could I expect to wear this world like a cozy pair of pajamas when even Jesus wandered through it without a place to truly call home?

Even the Son of Man had no place to lay His head.

 

Something else clicked, too.

I didn’t have to be that perfect box of crayons.

I didn’t have to have my colors all lined up on display to impress.

What impressed my God the most was and is my brokenness.

It brought Him to earth.

It caused Him to die for me.

Can broken crayons still be used?

Absolutely.

 

Broken crayons are the special ones when you think about it.

They are guided more closely and used with more care,.

Wonderful colors still come from them.

Colors that add to the beauty of the big picture.

God’s picture.

One that I can’t see right now.

That’s why I have to  place myself under His mighty hand.

 

He will lift me up.

He will use me.

Even on the messy, unraveled days, He will use me.

Even when all I have to offer is a worn numb, He will use me.

He will create His beauty in and through me.

All I have to do is be willing to let him use my whole box.

Lay everything I have and everything I am out before Him.

My pretty pieces and my broken pieces, too.

 

Trust God, friends when the road is beautiful and clear, but also know He is with you are your dark days, too.

He will never stop using you when you spill out your box before Him.

 

What was your experience as a new Christian like?

Was it similar to mine?

Was it different?

Do you know Jesus?

If not, what is stopping you?

 

 

 

 

2 Comments »

Pac-Man Praise

I used to love to go to Cheddar’s when I was a kid.

It had nothing to do with the food.

Nope.

Not at all.

If I drank my milk my grandmother would give me a quarter.

Back in the day a quarter went pretty far.

I would head straight to the video games.

One of my favorites was Pac-Man.

How many of you remember playing the original arcade game?

 

A special note to those of you who don’t know the game:

1) Trust me, you missed a great era.

2) Google it.

3) Read on anyway, you will get the idea.

 

Oh, the satisfaction that came from eating that big dot and getting rid of those ghosts!

Can you name all the ghosts in Pac-Man?

Pinky…Inky…Blinky….Happy…Doc…Dopey…Sneezy…Grumpy….

Ok so I can’t quite pass that test!

Maybe you can remember them all.

Maybe not.

I bet you can remember playing the game though.

Looking back now, I feel sorry for Pac-Man.

All he was trying to do was eat tons of dots to get to the next level.

That should be easy enough right?

Not a difficult task…UNTIL…the ghosts show up.

They harass the poor guy.

They try to eat him alive for goodness sake!

He now has to move faster to eat those dots AND he has to dodge them at the same time.

Talk about stress!

 

Have you ever felt like Pac-Man?

Your day begins with tasks laid out before you.

Everything seems calm and peaceful…Until…you guessed it…“the ghosts” come in to try to eat you alive!

Now I have no idea what “your ghosts” are.

They can be “down in the dumps” thinking or really anything that stresses you, drains you, or gets you off task.

They can quickly turn you from “Happy” to “Grumpy” as you go about your day.

Chances are you will encounter some this week.

So how can you respond to them?

Well…let’s see…WWPD?

 

What would Pac-Man do?

He eats the big dots as he goes about his day of tackling the little dots.

The big dots give Him energy.

All of a sudden the ghosts don’t seem so threatening anymore.

They become almost invisible.

He chases them down eats them up quickly, then gets back to business.

The big dots give him the strength to get the job done.

Today let’s focus on something that will bring you strength as you go about your day.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen.

You can just think of these in your head if you want.

Quickly write down 5 favorites.

These can be five favorite people, memories, places,  or things.

You name it.

It’s your list.

Don’t spend much time on this just write as quickly as you can.

You may be surprised by what you jot down.

Now take a moment and praise God.

He created ALL your favorite things and so much more.

Why?

He WANTS you to enjoy Him.

He WANTS you to praise Him.

He loves you.

You are one of His favorites.

The apple of his eye!

Colossians 3:1-2 (The Message)

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.

Pursue the things over which Christ presides.

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.

Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is.

See things from His perspective.”

Place the list you just made on your desk or somewhere you will see it often.

Take praise breaks here and there.

You can even add to it over time, if you want.

When the little dots seem to never end or the ghosts are chasing you all over the place, take out your list and praise!

 

Leave a comment »

You Won’t Be Sorry

“I’m sorry I took up so much of your time.”

“I’m sorry I talked so much.”

“This is probably a silly idea…”

“I probably shouldn’t be so…”

So much time is spent apologizing.

Just think of the people you have been around this week.

How often have you heard the words, “I’m sorry”?

How often have you said them?

Why do you apologize for who you are?

Why do I?

What are you really doing when you apologize?

You, my friend, are buying into the big lie.

The one that says you aren’t enough.

The one that says you are too much.

The voice in your head that says you must tone it down or crank it up.

The one that says you aren’t okay.

So you strive to fit in.

You take some of you and cram it in the corner.

You take the light, the essence of who you are and you cover it.

If people lifted the veil, they wouldn’t like what they see, you tell yourself.

Right now, right here, let me rip that veil and expose the lie.

The one that keeps you from being you.

The one that holds you back.

Funny thing, that lie isn’t really about you at all.

It’s more about God.

When you hide or change, you are really saying you want to hide or change the God who made you.

He didn’t make you to be enough.

He made you to be too much.

He must have messed up because you aren’t perfect.

Most lies have a hint of truth to them.

This one is no exception.

You see, friend, if you were enough Jesus would not have had to die for you.

That part is true.

Listen closely.

Stop thinking about all the things you have to do today and dwell on this.

Jesus in you.

Jesus shining through your weakness is enough.

He will work in you.

He will work through you, but to allow Him to do it, you must pull those hidden parts from the corner and bring them out into the world.

Don’t be afraid of who you are.

Your boldness may just speak what needs to be heard.

Your quietness may bring calm to a situation that’s getting out of control.

Your vision may help others to see.

Your faith may bring others courage.

Your words may speak straight to a discouraged heart.

He made you that way.

Don’t be sorry!

He is making you everyday.

Shaping you in His image, to do His will.

His perfect, pleasing, good will is working in you right now.

Will you let it shine?

Will you stop apologizing and shoving parts of yourself into that corner?

You don’t belong there.

Jesus certainly doesn’t belong there.

Be beautiful you.

Shine.

Someone needs what you have today.

Even when you think you bring nothing, when God is working through you, you are always bringing something.

Be a light bringer.

Today, encourage others to just be themselves, by just being yourself.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Blackening of the Bride: 11 Ways to Sabotage Your Marriage

Imagine with me for a moment.

It’s a beautiful day.

Today is the day your new life together begins.

It’s your wedding day.

You look up at the blue sky and smell the fresh air.

You quickly realize that instead of looking up, you should have looked straight ahead!

The bushes nearby begin to move.

People run out and pelt you with rotten eggs and other sticky substances.

 

They kidnap you and shove you into a car.

 

The next thing you know, you are being paraded around town and tied to a tree.

Kinda sounds like a bad dream after eating too much Chinese food, doesn’t it?

This may seem bizarre, but this is not fiction.

In reality, it is a Scottish wedding tradition called the “Blackening of the Bride (or groom).”

It is meant to prepare the couple for the difficulties of marriage.


No doubt about it, marriage can be tough!

Words can be spoken and actions can be taken that leave you feeling ambushed, beaten, black, and blue.

What takes years to carefully build can be lost in a moment.

The atmosphere of your marriage can be wonderful, until the unexpected comes, and you are pelted with the stinkiness of life.

Things you never thought would happen.

The loss of a job.

The car you never saw coming…

The loss of a loved one.

Your car breaks down on the way to work.

The bills stack up, so does the stress.

The hard stuff leaves you feeling vulnerable.

You can turn to your spouse during these times or you can choose to turn away.

Even the good things can bring the stinkiness out:

Holidays.

Having a baby.

Parenthood.

Moving to a new town.

Busy schedules.

I don’t know how things are in your marriage right now, or even if you are married.

I do know this: No single act can prepare you for marriage.

Preparing for marriage, whether you have been married a day or twenty years, is a continual, daily process.

My husband and I have been married for 15 years.

I thought by now, we would have this thing down.

We don’t.

What we do have is a committed love-filled marriage and lots of stories of our mistakes.

So I thought I would share with you how to blacken your spouse.

Here are 11 ways to sabotage your marriage:

1) Be insecure. Look to your spouse to make you feel good all the time.

2) Don’t trust your spouse. (For some of you, trust has to be rebuilt. Something major may have happened. Some times it can take time. If they are doing things to intentionally harm you or others in your family get help!)

3) Don’t talk about money. Don’t be on the same page. Don’t make a plan for your money.

4) Don’t communicate. Do what you want. Why should you be accountable to someone else?

5) Talk a little too long and smile a little too much at that cute co-worker.

6) Make sure to let your kids divide and conquer you as parents. Take every opportunity to tell your kids that you disagree with your spouse. Develop a good cop-bad cop parenting relationship.

7) Stay angry. Let it linger. Sleep on it. Wake up in a rage. Love being right more than you love your marriage. Hang onto your hurts. Let them eat you alive. Don’t forgive.

8) Overcommit. Do as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t consult your spouse when making plans.

9) Don’t date. Why should you do that anymore? Treat each other more like roommates and business partners.

10) Don’t hangout with people who support your marriage. Make sure you criticize your spouse in public, especially with friends.

11) Never,under any circumstances, use these three phrases:

“What do you think?”

“How can I pray for you?”

“What can I do to ease your stress?”

 

Remember, Dear One:

You are your spouse’s home.

You love is a cup of cold water offered to the soul beaten down by the heat of this world.

Your arms are the welcome mat, the place where burdens are wiped out.

Your lips help wash the dirt away when you  shower words of praise and affection to a blackened heart.

Love today more than yesterday because tomorrow may not come.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Burnt Out

 

 

My family and I drove by a popular restaurant sign a few nights ago.

Our children nearly fell over laughing in the back seat.

“Look, Mom, that sign says, “Affle House”, “you know, like, Awful House.”

The first letter of the sign had burnt out, sending my family into fits of laughter.

Sometimes I feel burnt out.

It seems to get harder to keep it all together.

I get tired of burning the candle at both ends so I just let one end fizzle out.

I’m running on empty, yet I keep going.

It has to get done and it has to get done now!

The tyranny of the urgent.

 

 

One of the first things to go for me is usually my time spent in the Word.

My big “W” that used to shine brightly becomes dim, until it eventually burns out.

When that happens, my body, the house God entrusted to me, can quickly turn into the awful house.

 

My temper flares.

My sleep is affected.

My money spends faster.

My food gets junkier.

My workout time becomes a distant memory.

 

Take a moment to think about what is beginning to flicker out in your life.

 

What is one of the first things to go when you fizzle out?

Maybe it’s a habit that keeps you healthy.

Sometimes a relationship is neglected.

Financial situations may  get ignored.

 

Try to catch it now before the burn out.

Who really wants to reach the point of being the “Affle House”?

Listen, Dear One, urgency is a killer of the soul!

Is it really worth killing yourself to get it all done?

Is there something you can say “no” to this week, so you can say “yes” to your sanity.

Talk to God about it.

Sometimes taking a nap, eating healthier, or spending time with an important person in your life is the most Godly thing you can do.

Write it on your “to do” list.

Don’t feel guilty for self care.

Don’t drop the big “W” and become the awful house, when stress enters your life.

You can avoid this!

You can.

I’ll be here rooting for you and cheering you on.

No guilt here, Dear One, just move forward and do one thing today that will prevent burn out tomorrow.

 

Leave me a comment to let me know what fizzles out first in your life.

What will you cut out or do differently this week?

I want to hear from you!

 

2 Comments »

What to do When You have a Bad Case of the “What-Ifs”

 

Our home has been invaded by blankets.

They drape our couches and cover our footstools creating tunnels for a secret hideout.

“Animal HQ”, the kids call it, the secret headquarters for stuffed animal secret agents.

I love their imagination and creativity.

Sometimes I hate my own.

I can watch any horror movie and come up with part two in my dreams.

My imagination is powerful.

The “what-if” monster attacks me all the time.

I’m willing to bet you’ve met him, too.

He lives in the future.

He’s a thief of the present.

I don’t know what your “what-if” monster is saying to you today.

Will you keep your job?

Will your kids be okay?

Does your spouse still love you?

What will the result of the test be?

How will I be able to take care of aging parents?

It’s plenty to keep you up at night.

It doesn’t have to.

Somewhere along the way, you have probably heard the story of David and Goliath.

Boy beats giant when no one thought he would.

Do you remember what David said when he was going to face that giant?

Right when fear should have been at an all time high, David spoke these words:

“God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:35

Remember what God has done in the past and there will be no need to fear the future!

“God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” Psalm 121:7-8 (The Message)

The God of yesterday, walks with you today.

The God who walks with you today will walk with you into tomorrow.

You will fail.

You will fall.

Yes, you will experience moments that break your heart.

You will also experience moments that make your heart.

You will love.

You will live.

You will overcome.

You will.

The God who lives in you has already overcome the world that tries to defeat you.

“In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 (The Message)

Let God be your hideout today.

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” Psalm 91:1 (The Message)

Hide beneath the blanket of his love.

“That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing!” Psalm 91:1 (The Message)

Use your imagination to dream of all the things he has in store for you.

‘God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

Now, take that giant problem you have been wrestling with in your mind and hit in square in the head with that little dose of God’s word!

God has given you many stones in his word to aim straight at the head of that nasty old giant.

Take him down!

 

A little something extra:

Go to http://www.biblegateway.com

Type a word of a topic that is troubling you in the search box.

Find a verse or two on that topic.

Whenever that “what-if” monster comes your way, pull your verse out, look at it.

Yep, a stone straight to the head and down goes that monster.

THUD!

Another one bites the dust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Invisible Danger: How do you protect your kids?

 

Oh, yes Murphy’s Law was at work today!

My children and I had been out for the day.

We came back home.

I sat in the car for a moment listening to voicemails.

The kids went inside.

After a bit, my daughter came out to the car.

“Mom, you won’t believe what happened! The dogs didn’t get put outside. They were in the house the WHOLE time we were gone!”

(This is the equivalent of letting 2 two year olds have the run of the house while you are gone!)

I jumped out of the car and sprinted inside.

Silverware, taken from the empty dishwasher, was spread all over the house.

Anything, the dogs could find to get into was randomly strewn across the floor.

“What is that smell?”, I thought to myself.

I looked at the gas stove.

The knob for the burner had been turned on.

There was no fire lit, so gas had been freely released into the air for quite some time.

My kids had been inside around something dangerous.

I had not known it.

 

I told them to leave the house.

We called the fire department to ask if it was okay to go in the house.

A few minutes later firefighters arrived.

The house was cleared.

We were able to go back in, just in time get our things and run off to our daughter’s practice.

 

During her practice, I began talking with other moms.

Internet safety seemed to be our topic of the night.

How do we keep our kids safe from the unseen dangers?

Recently, I read about two young girls killing someone because of influence on the internet.

My daughter may not be influenced to kill another person just because something she sees on the net, but viewing things without filters, restrictions and direct adult supervision can kill her soul.

We immunize our children.

We use preventative measures because we don’t want them to get a disease that can harm them and spread to others, yet we allow our children to have cell phones and computers without direct supervision.

How does this make any sense?

 

I know in our family we need to do more.

For now, we talk about restrictions, we only have computers in public areas of our home, and most internet content for the kids is played on our tv in our living room, so all can see it.

What do you do to protect your family?

Have you had conversations about the internet?

Feel free to share any links that might be helpful on this topic. (I will look at them before I post them.)

 

1 Comment »

Perfectly Placed

My daughter recently auditioned for the first time.

She wanted a part in a summer musical camp.

She had her heart set on the one of the two lead characters

We are new in town and just getting to know people here.

I wasn’t sure people who didn’t know her would give her a chance.

I practiced with her a bit.

She couldn’t wait.

She just knew she would get the part.

How do you prepare a child who has her heart set on something that she might not get it?

I didn’t want to get her hopes up, but I also wanted to balance that with letting her know that I believed in her ability to do well.

We climbed in the car to head to the audition.

My bubbly, blond girl was smiling from ear to ear.

“Honey, would it be okay if I pray with you about the audition?”

“Sure, Mom.”, she quickly replied.

“Dear Father,
Thank you for my sweet girl. She is a gift to me and to this world. Father, I ask that you place her right where she should be. If that’s the lead, that’s okay with us, but if you have something else in mind, we trust that you will perfectly place her. You have something special planned for her in this experience. Help her to give of her talents and serve you and others well. Amen”

When I picked her up from auditions, I asked her how it went.

I guess I asked a few too many questions.

“Come on, Mom, it’s not like it’s American Idol!
It was fun. We read our parts in groups.”

Later that evening, the phone rang.

The call she had been waiting for had come.

She got her first part.

Not the one she expected.

She will play another part.

Sassy Swag Saturn.

Somehow that fits her just right.

My bouncy girl playing a planet that never stops moving.

Yep, that’s her.

She can’t wait to start.

Do I have the same attitude when I don’t get what I expect?

I’m perfectly placed, too.

I must remember that.

It’s tough when I have prayed about something specific and it doesn’t happen the way I want it to or it just doesn’t happen at all!

I remember walking with a friend one day.

She suddenly stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “You know what I love about you?

Not one thing you planned in your life has turned out the way you have planned it, but you are full of joy anyway.”

I hadn’t realized that until she said it.

Nothing had gone the way I planned.

Weird.

Isn’t life about making goals and achieving them?

If you asked me what I wanted in my life when I was younger, my answers would have been filled with “nevers”.

Almost every one of those “nevers” has happened.

The strange thing about my plans versus God’s plans for me, is that I’ve never been happier.

He has always given me what’s best even when it looked scary or unpleasant.

When I said, “No”, He said “Yes”.

I am learning to never say never.

I am learning to follow this God of the unexpected.

Because of Him, because of this life He has given me, I’m finding joy in the unexpected everyday.

A little added bonus to the blog today:

I found this when I was looking up pictures for Saturn. Children bring us so much joy!

Leave a comment »