Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 22 ~ Expect

When I was pregnant with my first I read several the books (of course "What to Expect When Your Expecting" was included in my stack of books) and payed attention during my birthing classes, well I paid attention to most of the information. I skipped over the parts about complications or circumstances such as induced labor, c-sections, and anything else that would be different from my expectations. Those circumstance weren't going to happen to me. 

I was sure that my bundle of joy would arrive beautifully with little complications and little pain. I did not expect to have my water break during my last scheduled day at work or that my husband, after dropping me off at work, would head to a friend's house in our only car. Not to mention that my boss had left me in charge of the restaurant while he went for a hair cut. This was before cell phones so I left a message on the home phone and sat patiently waiting for either my boss or my husband. Delivery was not full of flowers, sunshine and singing birds but seeing my beautiful daughter erased the memory of the double contractions that seemed to last an eternity.

As the years went by I realized that many expectations would be shattered by reality. Sleepless nights. Spit-up shoulders. Worry and fear about whether I was doing this parenting thing right. Nothing turned out exactly how I expected but even though it hasn't been perfect, it's been beautiful. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21 ~ Second (Chances)

When my son was little I tried to teach him the value of sincerity when he'd apologize. I also taught him that apologizing was like a promise, a vow to never again offend in the same manner. My mantra for those moments was, "Sorry means that you'll never do it again!" Although my intentions were good, I see now that my mantra was lacking grace.

We fail. Each and every one of us. 
"there is none righteous, no not one!" (Romans 3:10)
Often we continue to fail. So many times I've gone to bed praying, "Oh, God, I blew it...again! I held negative thoughts toward my husband, I lost my patience with the kids, I forgot to talk to you all day!" Somehow instead of God saying, "Laurie, sorry means you'll never do it again!", I imagine he'd give me a tight squeeze and say, "Child, we'll try again tomorrow." It's amazing that he hasn't given up on me. 

Just as God has given me second chances that are smothered in grace and forgiveness, I must give the same to others. 
"But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matt.6:15

“Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”  Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

Oh, Lord, help me be more like you. Fill me with compassion and forgiveness. May I smother others with grace and forgiveness as I loving say, "We'll try again tomorrow."

Day 20 ~ Fear

Some fears are obvious. Fear can present itself through that queasy feeling I get when I'm peering over a cliff. Heights have a tendency to do that to me. Sky diving, bungee jumping and the like are not activities I care to pursue. 

I also have a fear of speaking in front of people, whether it be a crowd of five or fifty, I somehow get tongue twisted as I feel my ears turning a bright shade of red; my hands and voice begin to tremble ever so slightly. 

Other fears are not so obvious. They creep in, just like Satan did in the garden, whispering doubt. Doubt of self but mostly doubt of God's faithfulness, His power, His goodness. These fears have a tendency to steal joy and crush faith. 

Fear is a result of not fully relying on God for my every need. Fear is my lack of ability to give up my tightfisted need to control my own life so that I may place my life completely in His hands. My fear tells God (and others) that I don't trust Him. Yet I know well that He is a God in whom I can trust! 

Isaiah 31:10 says, "fear not, for I am with; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 

And Psalm 56:11 says, "In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

How it must break His heart that after all he's brought me through, after all he's proven to me, that I still allow fear to creep in. 

Father, forgive me for my fear, for I know that I can trust in you! Rid me of all doubt and fear that I may be available for your service.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 19 ~ Honor


Proverbs 31:25  Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Yoga pants, t-shirt and a ponytail. Yep, that's how I'm clothed most days. Somehow I see the Proverbs 31 woman looking a lot different than me. She's put together with every hair in place, a light touch of make up and a pretty blouse without coffee stains or spit-up shoulders. But maybe the descriptions of her have much more to do with her attitude than her dress. Her beauty within spills over and radiates to create an outward beauty. 

She stands tall but is humble. She is majestic in her simpleness. 

She is strong in her convictions and isn't afraid of hard labor but her hands are gentle and she cries with those who are in need. 

She is dignified but not proud. 

She is gracious, full of integrity, kind, giving....ah, the list goes on! I think that all these characteristics are simply proof that she is a daughter of the King as she shines HIS majesty!

Oh, Lord, help me to start each day by clothing myself with you. May I be filled with strength and honor not so that I can look all "put together" (even in my yoga pants) but so that you alone may be glorified. 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18 ~ taste

Today I had but a taste of God's goodness as I spent the day with my children. We saw his beauty as we traveled winding roads along the river and bluffs covered with vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow. 

Today's blessings
I am so grateful for today's blessings.

Barbie's Weekend Brew button

Friday, October 17, 2014

Long (day 17)

long (verb): to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn

I have many desires. A month full of "sleep-in-Saturdays", financial security, a return trip to Guatemala, a peaceful home, a new-to-me car that actually works, world peace, a backpacking European trip with my kids for my 50 birthday (yes, that's the next "big" one!) are just a few of the things in which I long for.

Funny how one email can totally erase all those longings, causing a new list to formulate. 

I long for the end of poverty and hunger.
I long for every child in the world to have a comfortable bed inside of a safe home, with a family that eats dinner together and never worries about when the next meal may be.
I long for every child in the world to have opportunities to dream and to read and to be educated. 

I long for every child in the world to be shielded from the evils of the world ~  war, abuse, injustices, the darkness of violence and human trafficking, that their innocence could be protected and preserved.

I long for every child to know Jesus, know the hope that is found in Him and the eternity that waits for us in heaven!

The email which changed my perspective this morning came from World Help announcing the arrival of the new Christmas catalog (yes, I'm a little excited)! 

Check out the World Help Christmas Gift Catalog here

P.S. You might want to check out Kate's place today because she's having an awesome give away. But don't enter. I want that cute Krafty Kash necklace! ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 16 ~ Adjust(ments)

I have a habit of changing recipes, making adjustments to use what I have on hand. Sometimes I have success. Sometimes, well, not so much. Today's recipe adaptation was a success! My Pumpkin Muffin in a Mug topped with pumpkin cream cheese "frosting" and walnuts was so yummy! 

Pumpkin MIM (muffin in a mug)
1 T. Almond Flour
1 T. Coconut Flour
1/2 t. baking powder
a "glob" of coconut oil
heaping T. of pumpkin puree
1/4 t. caramel extract
sprinkle of NuStevia
1 egg

Stir all ingredients in a coffee mug and microwave for 1 minute. Top with "frosting" and walnuts.

Unfortunately I didn't measure the ingredients for the frosting. It was something like this:

Equal parts pumpkin puree and cream cheese. Sprinkle of NuStevia and a few generous shakes of pumpkin spice. Mash it all together. 

Another great adjustment today? My attitude. If you read last night's post you may have detected a bit of weariness. Today's lighter work load topped with a beautiful, warm day and a walk with the kids to park was just what I needed (thank you, Lord!).