Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is almost time for one of what has become my all times favorite times of the year... high school basketball. Starting in October, the balls come put, the court is shined and tryouts start again for my daughter. She is equally as excited. She has actually joined the cross country team to work out with them so she can condition for the upcoming season. And of course, this means that me, as one of the Booster Club officers and team mom, get to start running around again. But honestly, I really do love it and as tired as I know I will be, it makes me happy to be a part of this time in my child's life.

But as I start into another season, I have to make sure that things don't "stay the same" as they always have. I said before that I felt like I lost some of the spark I had when I first started writing. I can remember going to bed reading a Beth Moore book, or going over what we would talk about in Sunday school class. I slacked off big time. And if things don't change, I will get right back into the same ole rut as I seem to have gotten in. So there has to be a conscience effort on my part and all of our parts to make sure that God is in every aspect of our lives. Not just a simple prayer in the morning or a quick " thanks" when we think about it.

I work with an architect who does her Bible study first thing in the morning, before everyone gets started with their day. She doesn't work God into her schedule if she finds some spare time, but makes Him the priority. We all need to. We can make excuses about how busy we are, how we have so much going on and that we are just tired, but maybe we need to stop and think... "what if God decided He was too busy for us? Too tired to listen and help us when we need Him." So starting today, even if it's baby steps, start giving God more of you. Make Him the #1 in your life.

I pray you all have had a good week thus far. Until next time, "be blessed and be a blessing"!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I briefly met a young lady this weekend in Wal-Mart that works with Tony. She was one of the most pleasant people I have met in a very long time and I couldn't help but notice how truly beautiful she was... her physical appearance AND her attitude.

I thought last night about all the trouble we go through as women to become beautiful. We pile on makeup to hide our real faces and appearance, buy the latest fashions to keep up with everyone else, try the latest diet craze so that we can get into those perfect jeans and my all time favorite, adding a little color or changing a hair style to hide that gray hair that is sticking up in the air. And I mean, it's almost something that is expected because every commercial, magazine and newspaper are trying to sell us on changing ourselves so we will be "better".

And ultimately, none of that stuff matters. God could care less if we are 100 lbs overweight, if we have pimples as big as rocks on our face or we wear last years styles.

"I Peter 3: 3-5 - Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."

If we are so concerned with how the outward looks, could it be that we really have issues with the inside??? Maybe instead of spending or rather wasting money on things that won't matter tomorrow, we should invest more in God. God created us in His image and He wants what's on the inside way more than what people can just see on the outside. And when the inside is glowing with God's goodness, the outside won't need all the accessories to make it beautiful.. it already will be.

It's Thursday and it has been a really, really good week. I pray it has for you too. Until next time, Lord willing, "be blessed and be a blessing".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I ripped my last pair of contacts a few days ago so now I am forced to wear my glasses until payday so I can go to my eye appointment. I really don't like my glasses at all. I mean they are pretty stylish.. Vogue..and they look alright, I guess, or so people say, but I hate that they sit on my nose. It bothers me and I find myself pushing them up constantly to sit in the perfect position on my face.

Two days ago on the news, I hear a story about a homeless man, right here in Albany who had been hit by a hit and run driver. They took him to the hospital and as they were patching him up, they found out through a cat scan that he has a massive tumor on or near his brain and if it is not removed, he will be blind for life. There is a local church who is helping him, found family member in Florida and are now trying to raise the money to help him have that surgery.

Talk about feeling like a total loser.....I did.

I've never really thought to thank God for the fact that I even had the glasses to put on after my contacts ripped. Actually for the most part, I think we think of blessings sometimes as big things we get. Those things that help us make more money, get a little more fame or attention.

I have heard people say and I have been guilty myself of not having just what we want. Things are not flowing well at work, you don't make enough money... try not having a job now and having your home repossessed. My car is not working (this one got me a slap this past week too).. try having to walk every where you go. My kids are not making all A's like I want them too... try having a child in a gang and never going to school.... My shirt is a little to tight, I really need to go to the gym.. try wearing the same clothes everyday or not even having clothes to put on....the list could go on and on.

We don't praise and thank God every moment we are here, for just giving us life. For the people I know that are reading this e-mail, we may not have everything we want, but I know for a fact, we have what we need because of God. We need to thank God every single time something goes right in our lives and still praise him when things go totally wrong. Once we learn to do this, I think we will find that our lives will start to be refocused and we won't be so consumed about what we DON'T have, but be thankful and blessed for what we do.

There was an old song we use to sing at Beattie Road when I was younger. We don't sing it much anymore, but I think it really needs to serve as a reminder to us about how we need to be praising God:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Please be praying for the gentleman who will be having that surgery soon. I love you all, have a wonderful Wednesday and as always "be blessed and be a blessing"!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Of all the things I have learned in my life, the one most important thing is that " It's not all about me". But everywhere you turn, the world tries to teach you the opposite. Grab everything you can before someone takes it from you, look out for #1. I actually think this is one of the hardest things I am having to teach my children. Sharing and making sure someone else has before you do seems to be really hard for them and I would imagine it's probably because they see us trying to grab all the gusto we can.

So many people view the world only from their little square box. You can start a conversation about things going on with you and it always seems to turn back to them. It's kinds of irritating huh? And at that point, I normally tune them out.... then I wonder though.. how many times have I been guilty of the exact same thing.

Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message) - "If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand."

So the next time someone comes to you, maybe they just want to talk and it could be about nothing. Just let them. Don't make it about you and how you would, could and did do something.

I pray you are all having a wonderful week. Things may not be the way you want them, it may be a long week already, but God has given you another day. Use it for something positive. I love you all and as always as my friend Pam says " be blessed and be a blessing" for someone today!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I honestly have been in a state of dysfunction for a long time. I could not tell you up from down if you asked, nothing is really going right or has been for a while, my brain has been in slow motion for months and if anything is going to go wrong, it's going to go wrong with me. I have had people tell me over and over (and it's not like I don't know this already) that things are "going to be okay", " it'll all work out", "God puts no more on us that we can handle". And each time, I have this look on my face :I ... meaning, yeah yeah, I know all of this, but that doesn't help my situation, I still feel like crap.

And just when you think your back is about to literally break, that you can't take anymore of this thing they call life, something happens that makes you realize that no matter how bad you THINK you have it, someone else is going through much bigger issues.

When I tell you that this weekend has been rough... whew!! And as we talked in lifegroup last night, well, all I can say is I was brought to tears and realized that I have not been the friend or Christian God wants me to be. I made a comment last night and I will share it again with you today as a reminder: "Make time to get to know people before situations get out of hand." People all the time ask " how are you" and the normal response from all of us is "fine" when in actuality, it's really not. I will take it one step farther too because I got the response that if you ask, and they say fine, what do you do then? So I contend that you don't need to ask them just one Sunday mornings or Wednesday night at church, don't ask if you bump into them at a store or see them at a ballgame. MAKE TIME during your week, pick up a phone, send an e-mail, text,whatever and just randomly check. And yeah, they may not tell you one the first go round, or second or even third, BUT if people realize that you mean them well, that they will NOT be the topic of conversation at your next group gathering or won't be picked at, they are and will be more apt to talk to you about issues that may be going on in their lives.

Greg said yesterday that relationships are HARD. And he is so right, but they get even harder if we are not encouraging each other, if we are not looking out for each other, helping and praying daily for each other. I haven't been doing that nearly as much as I should and I apologize. So, as I said last night, and I really believe this even though I admit that sometimes I am the one who says " I'm fine" and I'm really not... we have to make it a point to make time for people. People we know, but don't really know. You may actually be surprised.

Hebrews 3:13 - "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

I love you all. "Be blessed and ALWAYS be a blessing!!" Until next time, Lord willing....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This weekend was crazy. It was a long weekend with the Holiday, my youngest son had his 9th Birthday party Saturday and my brother was here for the weekend. Alot going on, all weekend. By Sunday, I needed some peace, some time to recoup from everything and everyone. I went to church on Sunday, honestly, not wanting to be there. I have those moments still. You know how Satan messes with your mind and everyone and everything gets on your nerves? Well, I guess that was me. Tony went to church with me and he knew I was stressed and as I sat and listened, he held my hand as I cried to myself and thinking about how things SHOULD have been for me.

When I got home we talked some about the weekend and I realized that for the very first time in years, and I do mean YEARS that my brother and I had gotten along. Like I was the big sis and he was my baby brother. We laughed, talked about growing up, my parents (which he NEVER does) and even went to eat dinner together, no kids and just hung out. And after a weekend like the one I had, I knew that God had actually answered a prayer I have had for a really long time. And without some help from someone else, I might have missed it being selfish.

God knows and hears everything we day to him. The answers don't always come like we want them too.. fast and in a hurry, and if we are too busy in our lives, we might miss the answers He gives us. I'm really glad my brother came this weekend (although I missed seeing my nephew) and I really thank God for giving us the time He did.

I pray you all had a wonderful and safe holiday. Until next time, Lord willing....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My mom was the best cook in the world. When my brother and I were little, my dad worked and momma stayed home. We have home cooked meals every single day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. She didn't go back to work until I got in middle school, so even our lunches we took to school were home cooked. I mean all of it. I can remember waking up and smelling homemade biscuits and fresh maple syrup. When my daddy would get home, dinner was always ready and we had dinner together in the kitchen. I never really thought about the stuff my momma did around the house, I mean after all, she was a housewife and it was her "job" so to speak I guess. I think, looking back on it all.. I know I love my momma beyond the shadow of a doubt, but I think we took everything she did for us for granted.

Kinda like how we look at what God does for us sometimes. I mean He says "Ask and it shall be given unto you..." so we just assume that all we have to do is ask, and BAM, things should fall into place. God is ALL knowing.. every think about that really? There is really not a thing we ask for that He does not already know about. We don't have to ask Him to make Him know a situation, but we ask so that we learn and know the power of God. So that we don't become complacent when He works things out for us and so that we appreciate and never take God for granted.

I try to teach my kids that. They just assume alot of times that things are suppose to be handed to them, that we can fix every situation that comes up. But how will they ever learn if that happens? How will they ever know to turn to God when they have problems and not try to fix it themselves?

Matthew 7:7 - "Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find."

I hope you are all having a really good week. It's been kinda long, and I think I am about really for this long weekend we have coming up. My brother will be here Friday so please pray for a safe flight for him and hopefully I will get to see my nephews too!! Until next time, Lord willing.. "be blessed and be a blessing"