We are not lost when we have Him

May 31, 2012

It looks like I am not getting the next post up in the His Endless Gift Series this week. I have a schedule I really wanted to stick to and I was even doing really well there for awhile preparing my posts weeks ahead. But life just happens and that is okay.

We had a busy and wonderful Memorial Day weekend that was filled with family fun and not with my face planted in a notebook or computer! Plus, other things just needed to get done. Like, I finally was able to mow the lawn in between rain showers! And besides, sometimes my brain just needs a rest and did I mention I lost my notebook? Oh yeah, the place where I write my thoughts, my post ideas, little snippets of whatever is in my head and scriptures that speak to my heart. Its filled with just stuff, important stuff! Oh well...maybe not important to you, but it is to me!

I was thinking how I was almost frantic looking for my notebook and how I felt a bit out of sorts when I tried to sit down and write. I don't need that notebook, it only has some thoughts and ideas that are also in my head. Yet, I felt a bit lost without it, but what bothered me the most was the fact I couldn't find it!

It got me thinking how grateful I am that I don't need to feel lost when I'm looking for Jesus because He is with me ALL THE TIME! How awesome is that?!?! Furthermore, I don't need my notebook as long as I have Him!

Have a blessed day my friends and remember Jesus is faithful and He is here all along. Won't you reach out to Him today?

Oh, by the way...I did find my notebook...today!

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

May 25, 2012

I love Five Minute Fridays! Just to write whatever is on our hearts on the topic The Gypsy Mama prompts us with. Plus, it means its Friday! Woo hoo!


When given the opportunity to bless someone do you grab it with all your gusto or do you let it slip away? How about opportunities to tell others about Jesus? Or the opportunity to share your story? What about intentionally recognizing daily moments to teach our kids how to apply the bible in our everyday lives?

Opportunities may come and go, but we will never get time back. That one time when our kindness might help a stranger’s brokenness, a hug of hope and love for a lost and confused child, or to sit and listen to a widow so she can grieve and heal by sharing past stories.

Our hearts need to be conscience of these selfless opportunities and when you feel the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart...let us listen! Listen when He nudges us to hold a door for the man behind us or to share a piece of our story. 

Grab that opportunity. 

Don’t let it slip away.


Have a blessed day!

His Endless Gifts: Joy

May 24, 2012

This post is part of the His Endless Gifts series. I would love for you to join me every week. If you haven't already, please subscribe so you don't miss out!
I felt like I was a teen at a rock concert. I couldn't stay in my seat and I couldn't be still. The music reached the depths of my inner being, it was the words "it was Your cross that saved me and rescued me" that sang to my soul! I was jumping and not even singing, but shouting those words because I couldn't contain the swelling of joy building up inside of me.

So what exactly is this joy? This gift that comes from the Lord?
It is far deeper than happiness. Happiness is temporary and based on external circumstances. Joy is what God fills you with from the inside. It seeps into every empty crevice filling all the broken places. Joy comes from being in God's presence, surrendering your life to Him, giving Him the keys and asking Him to move into your heart.

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11

There was a time in my life when I had no joy. Not a surprise really because I also didn't have God in my life. It was a time of confusion, despair, and hopelessness. We weren't created to live this life without our Creator. And even though He made us with a free will His desire is for us to have a relationship with Him. I am always in awe at how God led me right into His embrace. He is gentle and He is faithful and He is loving!

Now I can honestly say I have joy in my life. This gift of joy is life giving. God is love and His gifts are endless, not only in the many gifts He gives, but He keeps on giving and giving for your entire life time! Let Him be your nutrition through His daily bread and living water.
The joy of the Lord is my strength!
Joy is what gets us through difficult times. So, let us make certain we are strong in the Lord by reading His Word daily, studying the Bible and asking Him to reveal the truth to us. We need to fill up on His bread every day, worshiping with praise and thanksgiving.

Have a blessed day!

Did you miss previous gifts in this series? No problem! You can catch up here: hope, love, salvation, faith, and peace. Please join me next week as we will be celebrating the gift of grace.

Today I'm looking up with Life In  Bloom, Red Oak Lane, and Raising Mighty Arrows

Proof one person cannot do it all (at least well) all of the time

May 21, 2012

Yesterday was one of those days when I really felt my lack of organizational skills exploding all around me! I try to be organized, but sometimes exhaustion takes over and I become lazy in that area.

I discovered my car registration had expired...since January! After calling and verifying with motor vehicles that yes, I did indeed neglect to renew it, we all ventured out to motor vehicles. We walk in and there were no lines. Yes, this is going to be quick! While I'm filling out the form a voice in my head says, "You need to get your car inspected too." Okay, I make a mental note to check the window sticker when we get back to the car. The agent takes my paperwork, turns it over and says, "I need your insurance information."

"Right, insurance." I dig through my bag...not there. I look at her, "It must be in the car."

We go back out to the car and it is no where to be found! Where on earth can it be? I immediately call my insurance agent, thankful they are located in the same town. We race over, pick up the new insurance card and race back to motor vehicles. As we are pulling in the parking lot I spot out of the corner of my eye the inspection station closes at 4:30 PM. I glance at the clock in my car. It is now 4:20 PM.

I rush the boys back inside the building, still no lines! Yeah, home stretch! She takes my paperwork again and tells me to go to the line to my left. There is now one person in front of me. Inside I'm pleading, please be quick. Soon its our turn. I ask the agent, "Do we really have to get back out on the highway to come back around to the inspection station?" She looks up at me and nods, "Yes, and I don't know if you are going to make it because they close at 4:30 PM. I will be as quick as I can." I respond, "Thank you!"

As promised, she was quick and we run out to the car, back out on the highway to get off, wait at the light, race back down the highway, get off, sit at another light and head back for the third time that day! The whole time I keep repeating out loud, "Please God, give us favor!"

As I pull in there is a man standing at the ticket booth. "Did we make it?" "Yes, you did." Without a minute to spare! Phew! I apologize to the attendants for making them work when they were ready to go home. As soon as we were in, we were out and with a new PASSED sticker for my windshield!

Have you ever had days like this? When you feel like if your head wasn't attached you would lose it? Where you think, "How on earth did I get here?" One of those days that if one more thing, even the smallest of smallest happens you will burst into tears?

Yes, this was one of those days!

When we got home I put a pot of water on the stove to make pasta for dinner. Perfect, something quick and easy, not needing much effort. I promised the boys I would take them to the park after dinner. I was really looking forward to just being outside and having some fun! As I stirred the pasta I see something NOT looking like pasta at all! Seriously!?! There is a stink bug in the boiling pot of pasta!

What would you have done? Do you know what I did? I laughed! Then posted a picture on Facebook because if I didn't laugh I would have cried.

After starting dinner all over again, we ate and headed to the park. It was the perfect way to end a crazy day.

Have a blessed day!

Inconveniences Disguised As Blessings

May 18, 2012

It was a perfect, beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and the air was crisp. I threw open the bathroom window, breathed in deep and said out loud, "It's going to be a great day!" Half believing it and half convincing myself.

The boys had a 9 am dentist appointment and I was feeling a bit anxious already knowing the daily struggle my strong willed 3 year old usually gives about getting ready. I really wasn't up for a battle and I didn't want to be late. And since I already had to wake him up, things were not looking in my favor!

Surprisingly, he was in a very good mood and cooperative even though he knew where we were going! Yay! We managed to get out the door on time!

Have you ever considered an inconvenience to be a blessing?

On our way to dentist and I realize I don't have my wallet. Thankfully, we were not far from home, so I turned around to get it and we still made it...right on time.

It is in these times I wonder when I get stuck behind a slow moving car or an inconvenience like this morning is it somehow a divine intervention? Perhaps God is re-routing my path to keep me from harm? What else is there to do, except to just breathe in deep and thank God for being in control of all things.

Have a blessed day!

Linking up with

His Endless Gifts: Peace

May 17, 2012

 This post is part of the His Endless Gifts series. I would love for you to join me every week. If you haven't already, please subscribe so you don't miss out!
I used to look to man to give me peace and stability. You know that feeling? The assurance that no matter what happens you will be okay? You cling to a person that you think can give you this peace because you may feel safe in their presence.

Years ago a friend of mine told me flat out, "Another person can't give you that feeling. It's something you must do for yourself." It has been years since then and I have come to learn it isn't even me who can do that! It is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within me that gives me peace.

This gift of peace is from our Father of heavenly lights, a blessed assurance and a promise.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

How grateful I am for this gift! Nothing in this world can give us peace like the Prince of Peace. Do you ever get an unsettling feeling for no real apparent reason? I do, sometimes and when I start feeling this way I start praising and thanking God. Before I know it the feeling passes and I am filled with His peace.

I no longer cling to others for my peace. I cling to Jesus instead!

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Have a blessed day!

Gifts we have already spoken of in this series: hopelovesalvation, and faith. Please join me next week as we will be celebrating the gift of joy.

Linking up with:

A Mother's Day Blessing and More

May 13, 2012

Have you ever been blessed by a complete stranger?

This past Thursday, the boys and I went out to dinner. My six year old had to interview me for his homework so we were going through the questions together. As a family had gotten up to leave in the booth next to us a little girl walked right up to me and handed me a beautiful hand drawn picture of a rainbow. "Happy Mother's Day!" It was one of those moments where you think does she have me confused with someone else? Does she think she knows me? I was in awe and didn't know what to say as I look at her dad then back to her, "Wow, thank you so much! You are such a sweetie!"   

"Today is Mexican Mother's Day so we are celebrating it with my grandma!" As she looks over at her grandma smiling from ear to ear. 

"Happy Mother's Day" her grandma says to me and I reply the same. "Happy Mother's Day!" 

I was blessed by a complete stranger. A little girl with a big heart and a sweet soul. How I pray we can all take the time to bless someone during our busy daily lives. One small gesture could have huge lasting effects. 

Mother's Day is a bitter sweet day for many. It's a joyous celebration and also a remembrance of loss. It is at least for me. I feel so blessed for God to have given me two precious boys and my heart is ever so thankful! My boys are my life and because of these amazing gifts from God I chose to have a personal relationship with Jesus. God and my boys give me so much joy!

My mom 2007
Yet, a part of my heart aches for my own mom. It has been almost three years since she lost her battle with lung cancer. She planted so many seeds in my life over the years. Now, I can look back and see why she was so giddy whenever she spoke of Jesus. It breaks my heart now when I think of how often I would brush her off when she spoke of the Lord and the end times. Oh how my heart desperately desires to have one moment back with her! One more of her tight bear hugs when I thought for sure she squeezed all the air out of me! I can only now really appreciate her mother's love for me now that I am a mom.

Mom as a young girl
My mom
My mom with my brother

Whether you are a young mom, a mom whose children are grown, a mom who knows loss by either her own child or her own mom, a mom of children who are unable to physically be with her children today regardless of the circumstances may the Lord shine His face upon you today. May He give you abundant strength and wisdom, joy and peace. In Jesus' Name! Amen

Hold onto Jesus because He is holding onto you!

Have a blessed Mother's Day!

His Endless Gifts: Faith

May 11, 2012

 This post is part of the His Endless Gifts series. I would love for you to join me every week. If you haven't already, please subscribe so you don't miss out!
It was a Tuesday and I was scheduled for laser eye surgery to repair a minimal detached retina in my left eye. I had already undergone scleral buckle surgery two months prior to repair a more extensive retinal detachment in my right eye. Needless to say, I was not thrilled to undergo more surgery, even though it was only laser and not invasive. So, I was praying for healing.

I believed and hoped God would heal my left eye. "By faith in the name of Jesus" kept running through my head. I prayed that God would heal my eye and when the doctor looked he would pronounce there was nothing to fix! I wouldn't have to have more surgery and God's name would be glorified! 

As I sat in the waiting room I searched the word 'faith' in the bible app on my smartphone. I read numerous verses about past men and women who were healed by faith. When my name was called I repeated over and over in my head "by faith in the name of Jesus". I sat in expectation as the nurse put more numbing drops in my eye. 

I believed. I hoped. I prayed.

But God had a different plan that day. His will for me was not to heal me in the way I wanted Him to. During the surgery, which wasn't longer than ten minutes, yet very uncomfortable and sometimes painful, my heart begged, "Okay, God, Your plan is obviously not of a miraculous healing, so please give me the strength and courage to endure this!" 

When I walked out of the doctor's office, I cried. The tears kept coming as I walked through the parking lot. By the time I reached my car I was mad! I climbed into the driver's seat, shut the door and yelled. I yelled at the top of my lungs at God. I yelled because I didn't understand. "How much faith do I need? YOU say in YOUR WORD as small as a mustard seed! I don't understand!"

I drove home drained...emotionally, physically, spiritually. I felt let down, disappointed.

Although, the outcome wasn't what I had in mind and when I was able to look beyond that I discovered I did learn some things that day.

For one, I learned I have more faith than I realized. I did believe with all my heart that God was going to heal me. I realized this because of how I felt afterwards. I am not one who cries very easily and I cried! I was very upset and then mad. If my reaction was, "Well, okay then" I would know I didn't really believe He would or could - for me.

Second, God did heal me that day, not in the way I wanted Him to, but through the doctor's hands. A reminder that He is in control.

Third, even though I wanted this healing, this miraculous sign from God to glorify His name, that was not how He wants to use me. At least not at this particular time.

Lastly, this was a growing and faith stretching lesson taught to me by my Creator. I may not completely understand His ways, but one day He will reveal the answer to me. One may think this may have swayed my faith, but it has only increased.

And one thing I know for certain, God was faithful that day because I know He was there with me, directing the doctor's hands and holding me the whole entire time.

Have a blessed day!

Gifts we have already spoken of in this series: hopelovesalvation. Please join me next week as we will be celebrating the gift of peace.

Stop and Smell the Roses {or Azalea's}

May 09, 2012

I am not one for being late. In fact, I hate to be late. I'm usually the one who arrives early or just on time. Okay, okay, that was before kids, but I still hate to be late.

So, can you imagine how frustrating it is trying to get a very strong willed 3 year old dressed and out the door every morning?!? Alright, that is not fair, its not entirely all his fault ;-)

Lately, my attention span to stay focused on task at hand (getting little one ready) is easily swayed. Mostly because I am too exhausted for the struggle. "Not yet, I can do it, I have to just tell you one more thing" are the responses I get over and over and over again.

Every. Morning.

Then its a mad rush to pre-school and back home again to start my work day. Go go go, run run run run.

Today was one of those mornings, but what makes today different from all those other days?

Because I STOPPED! Okay, it was just a brief pause in the mad dash, but I stopped for a moment to soak in some of God's glory! I stopped to smell the azaela's! Okay, I didn't really smell them because there was a bee also enjoying them, but I did get pretty close and I did take some pictures!

I believe my entire day was completely turned around because I took a moment to stop and marvel at the beauty around me.

How about you? Do you pause in your busy day to look around you? Do you see God's wonderful handiwork?

Have a blessed day!

Why This Mama Is Not Looking For Sympathy

May 08, 2012

I am re-publishing my post on single parenting that I wrote as a guest post over at Christian Momma. Just in case you missed it. ;-)
When LaToya asked me if I would write a guest post on single parenting I immediately said yes! First I thought how can I sum up single parenting in one post? Naturally, my first response is it is hard! But parenting is hard, life is just hard! Since then I had some time to reflect and pray for the message He wants me to give.

Single parenting is definitely a journey and it is a season. It doesn’t matter how we got here, it is what we do now that we are here.

I have always been a single mom - from pregnancy to this very day. I found myself pregnant at a time in my life when I wasn’t walking with Christ. I had given my heart to the Lord when I was a young child, but wasn’t living the Christian life. I was living with my boys’ father and had known him for six years. My life consisted of waiting and hoping he would get his life together so we could start ours. How foolish I was back then thinking I could change a person. I now know only God can do that. I was alone and pregnant yet a joy and peace so overwhelming covered me like my big, warm down comforter. During that pregnancy I realized I needed God and more importantly my child did too. I can still remember driving to work that one day when I gave my situation to Him because I didn’t know what else to do. Although I never felt afraid, I just felt as if everything was going to be okay. 

Fast forward a couple of years. Since I still put so much hope in my boys’ father, I found myself in the same exact situation again! This time I was hurt, angry, ashamed and scared. Even though I wasn’t walking in God’s will for my life, when I look back I now know He was there with me. He was pursuing me and changing my heart and leading me to Him without me even knowing it!

I never look at being a single parent as a burden. For me, it is all I have ever known so there was no shock and I didn’t have to get used to doing it all on my own. It wasn’t until I fully grasped that children are a gift from God that I truly embraced motherhood as my ministry, it is my calling. I decided right then and there I was going to be a wise woman who builds her home on the rock of God’s truth.

So what is it that I would tell other single parents? There are so many scriptures that give me strength and comfort, but it is within the past few months the Lord has really pressed on my heart a few key points that are biblical and encouraging.

When we rejoice in the Lord we are being joyful, but the amazing thing here is this joy doesn’t come from ourselves it comes from the Lord. It is independent of anything of this world; it can only come from Him. Nobody or anything can separate us from the love of the Lord. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Don’t compare
Numerous times I have caught myself comparing my mothering capabilities to other mom’s, which only leaves me feeling inadequate. Most of those times I wasn’t even comparing myself to other single moms, but married ones! I’m not perfect and God knows that. After realizing this and knowing that God doesn’t expect me to be, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t use it as an excuse to not succeed and not do my best, it only reminds me how much I do need Him. Only by His strength (Philippians 4:13), grace and guidance I will have the ability to be the best mom I can be. “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

Find joy in the mundane, be thankful and always pray
Every day I could become overwhelmed with full time motherhood, daily household chores and working a full time job and there are many days when I do! And even though it is really hard to look for the good in all things, it makes a world of a difference to be intentional. In the mornings when I take my oldest son out to the bus, I step outside and breathe in deep. I intentionally listen and look around at all that God has created, the squirrels scattering up and down a tree, the dandelions, the grass that desperately needs to be cut and even the huge turkey vultures sitting high up in the pine trees.  Soon joy starts to fill my soul and automatically I begin to thank God for the things we have, for things we might be going through and before I know it I am having a conversation with God. Always be joyful. Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Have faith
I enjoy reading in Hebrews 11 of all the people who had so much faith in God. I pray I can have that much faith. One thing I struggle with is believing that what God has promised in His word is for me too! I am confident that the more I seek Him the more my faith will grow and the easier it will be for me to see God’s promises already coming true. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

The response I receive from many when I tell them I am a single mom is, “I’m sorry.” Please don’t be sorry because I am not! I don’t want sympathy. I love my children with all my heart. They are the best two gifts I have and will ever receive! And because of my season of single parenting, I have found Jesus Christ!

I will also stand firm in faith and believe that one day the fourth chair at our dinner table will no longer be empty!

Have a blessed day!

Five Minute Friday: Real

May 04, 2012

It is a rainy Friday here on the east coast today, but it is FRIDAY and for that I will rejoice in this day the Lord has made! I am linking up with The Gypsy Mama today. Won't you join me in writing for five minutes flat, no editing, just write away.

Here we GO:

This word has been playing with me for some time now.

I love when people are real. I love bringing my son to a friend’s house and their house is not super duper clean and tidy with everything in its place (or thrown into a closet, out of sight!)

To me people who are real are honest, they speak the truth, no facades, nothing fake.

I am more comfortable around real people. I want to be very real. Does that mean wearing my heart on my sleeve and openly airing out my past? Not at all, but I will if the time is appropriate. It means sharing my story, my faults, and my mess with others if it will encourage someone else.

God is real to me. God made me to be me and He made a real person, not a robot and not a perfect person and the real fact is I need Him to help me to strive to be who He made me to be…REAL!


Have a blessed day!

His Endless Gifts: Salvation

This post is part of the His Endless Gifts series. I would love for you to join me every week. If you haven't already, please subscribe so you don't miss out!

Last year we had a really early snowstorm in October. Since the leaves were still on the trees many branches couldn't bare the weight and broke. At the time, I cleared all the fallen branches in the front yard, but left the backyard "for later". Well, later was this past weekend. Yes, I know 6 months later, but does that really matter?

I finally got to the daunting task of sawing up the large branches (yes, by hand because for one I'm afraid of chain saws and two, well...I don't own a chain saw!) I loaded up the trailer attached to the lawn mower and carried the branches to the end of the backyard. For some of the larger branches I just dragged them convincing myself this was great exercise! As I rested the end of one monstrous branch on my shoulder, I was reminded of Jesus carrying His cross.

Tired and beaten, barring the weight of the wood, dragging it with what human strength remained, all the while knowing what was about to happen. He could have stopped it. After all He is God, but He didn't. Why? Because it was all part of His perfect plan. The plan He prepared out of love. This love so great He layed down His life for us and gave us the ultimate gift of salvation. It is only the beginning of His endless gifts.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21
God's plan to save His people began way before Jesus was crucified. God left His deity and was born into this world as man. All part of the plan. And He intentionally named His Son, Jesus. Yup, also part of the plan. The Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua, which means salvation. The word save in the above verse is a Hebrew verb yasha, which means to deliver, to save, to rescue. See, what I mean? All part of His plan!

We all have our 'saved' story, the day we asked Jesus into our hearts, the day we confessed with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9)  It is part of our testimony.

For me, it was the best decision I have ever made and one I will never regret! Soon after I had children, I knew I needed God and so did my kids. You can read more about my testimony here. I love to hear people's testimonies! How they came to Christ and how God works in their lives! I encourage you to share your testimony with others. Please feel free to share with me, right here and right now if you feel led to or leave a link to your blog if you have it published. I would love to hear all about it and perhaps you will encourage another reader today!

Have a blessed day!

Gifts we have already spoken of in this series: hope and love. Please join me next week as we will be celebrating the gift of faith.

An Invitation

May 02, 2012

Please join me over at Bloggers in God today

Whatcha waitin for? Go get your coffee or tea and let's go! 

Have a blessed day!
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