Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 24 ~ DARE

While in Guatemala with World Help our team was introduced to the many needs in the areas in which we visited.

Building a church
Building a school
Building a home

At hearing each need my heart would ache as I desired to do something. My head swarmed with ideas on how I could help yet when I returned home those dreams ceased as I busied myself with my own life of work, managing a home, homeschooling and a too busy schedule. Soon my dreams and desires were replaced with thoughts of inadequacy. How can this work-at-home mom possibly do something of this magnitude? 

Yet shouldn't my faith allow me to dare to dream? I've been reminded that nothing is impossible for God and if it be His will, He will make my dreams a reality.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt. 19:6
 So I'm daring to dream again and praying that God equips me to do more than merely dream. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 23 ~ Look

I'm so tired and ready for bed but instead of heading to bed this 31 day blog challenge brought me instead to my computer. Trying to get inspired I headed over to Facebook to play a couple game of Candy Crush. In between games I did a few word searches on biblegateway.com, a favorite place of mine for studying and for inspiration. Feeling defeated I headed here and scrolled through old posts (I should do this more often for there many blessings in my life that I've forgotten). One year ago today I wrote about "Eyes of Wonder". It may be an old post but it's worth revisiting. Life is so full of blessings, my friend, but sometimes you have to open your eyes and LOOK! 

Here's what I posted last year:
I appreciate snow but only the view from my window as I sit inside my warm home with my hand cupped around a mug of something warm. This morning however the snow surprised me. Wasn't it just a week or so ago when I was still sporting shorts and flip flops?

So although I do not look forward to winter, the excitement of the daycare kids over the fresh layer of white stuff caused me to join in the excitement, grab my camera and head outside. It's amazing how the wonder of a child can spark a little wonder in this "old girl". As I snapped a few shots of the snow I went to check on my girls...usually by this time in the morning they have flown the coop and are rooting around the yard. This morning they were still roosted. My heart swelled with appreciation for the girls that would be providing eggs for our evening quiche.

Back inside I went to search for my coffee......ah! Gratitude again overwhelmed me when I found my favorite cup (one my dear hubs spent weeks searching for - I have a few particular characteristics I like in my coffee cups) next to my chalk-board-planter-turned-pencil-holder (a sweet gift last spring from my sweet girl).

Blessings abound when one chooses to see with eyes of wonder. May my eyes always be open to the wonder, the miracles, the blessings found in each and every day.


I'm thankful that today, one year later, that we've yet to see snow. If the forecast for tomorrow is correct, I may even be sporting shorts and flip flops! 

What are you thankful for today?


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.  I never expected parenting to be hard but I also never expected to love so deeply the children that I've been blessed with. Nothing turned out exactly how I expected but even though it hasn't been perfect, it's been beautiful.
August 5, 1990 The best day of my life, the day I became a mother
Click here to see a post with more photos of my first born because you know, two photos just aren't enough to capture all her cuteness! ;)


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



PHOTO CREDIT

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.


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