November 30, 2011

Wild & Wacky Wednesday!!

Today, I want to keep it light.

And, I want to introduce you to some friends of mine. . .

Here are Deidre, Jan, Piper, Mandy, & Elaine in their music video debut!!


Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree


I LOVE you guys TO THE MOON!!!  Thank you for always being my I-can-always-count-on-you-prayer-warriors!!!

You're the BEST!!

November 29, 2011

Blessed

It always amazes me at how tired you can get doing absolutely nothing.

I don't have a lot to say tonight.

No frilly pictures.

No catchy phrases.

Just that I am blessed.

Blessed beyond so much more than I ever deserved.

"I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts:  and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall
sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The LORD is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.

To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty
of his kingdom.

*******

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him:  he also will hear their cry,
and will save them.

The LORD preserveth all them that love him:  but all the wicked will he destroy.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD:  and let all flesh
bless his holy name for ever and ever.

~~Psalm 145: 1-12; 17-21~~

Dear Lord,

If I started right now, and prayed without stopping until I draw my last breath, it would not be enought to praise you for all of your many blessings.  The ups and downs, the tears and laughter, the friends and foes, promises kept and promises broken. . .all have been blessings to me in some form or fashion.

I am not worthy, LORD, but you make me worthy.

Thank you for loving me, LORD.

Thank you for sending your Son to die just for me.

Amen.

November 28, 2011

Content With Who I Am

Have you ever just stopped to think about the word "content"?


Dictionary.com defines content as "in a state of peaceful happiness."

It gives synonyms like pleased, satisfied, glad, complacent.

I have one of those perpetual calendar thingamajigs on my desk at school.


I don't usually change it, it's just there.

(As a matter of fact, it was on September 8th when I changed it this morning.)

Why did I decide to change it today of all days?

Beats me.

But here was the quote for November 28:

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--
no more, no less.  That's the moment you find yourselves
proud owners of everything that can't be bought. 
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. 
He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat." 
Matthew 5:5-6 The Message

Now, normally I am strictly a King James kind of girl.

But this.

This really hit me.

And as I roamed around my classroom full of second graders, I was constantly thinking in the back of my head.

Content.

Am I content?

Am I happy with what I have?

My Sunday School lesson this past week was on the Ten Commandments.


I had spent a lot of time wondering how I was going to explain to my small group of 8 year olds what the word "covet" means.

I settled on telling them that we should not spend all of our time wishing we had someone else's blessings and enjoy the blessings that He has given us.

Hmmmm.

Maybe I needed to be listening to my own lesson?

I never want to be "content" with my service to God.

I want to be a God-fearing, prayer warrior-ing, armored up, geared-up, ready to fight for His honor kind of a gal.


Not "just" content.

But, there are some things in my life that do make me content.

My home.


My kids.


My marriage.


My church family.

 And my girls. . . my prayer warrior girls.  My Bible study girls.


 My pastors.  The I'm-not-afraid-to-step-on-your-toes kind of pastors.





Preacher Dale


                        Preacher Paul




Things that, when I take the time to look around at what God has blessed me with, I wouldn't change for the world.

The best way I know to finish out my thoughts are to share a small quote from the book I am currently reading:


Author Katrina Kenison reflects,

". . .Not a day goes by that I don't still need to remind myself
that my life is not just what's handed to me,
nor is it my list of obligations,
my accomplishments or failures,
or what my family is up to,
but rather it is what I choose,
day in and day out, to make of it all. 
When I am able simply to be with things as they are,
able to accept the day's challenges
without judging, reaching, or wishing for something else,
 I feel as if I am receiving the priviege,
coming a step closer to being myself."


Wow.  What a powerful statement. 

THAT'S the kind of contentment I want in my life.

To stop worrying about what everyone else has and to start enjoying what I have and what God has made me to be.

It's just a thought. . .



November 27, 2011

Deck the Halls

Sigh.

I find myself doing that a lot lately.

I'm not sure what's going on, just that life's been a little dull lately.

Prime example:

I LOVE Christmas!!  Decorating is usually the highlight of my season.

But this year, something seems different.

I put my tree up. 

Finally.

And, for a week, it looked like this:






Just lights.

Nothing else.

And I had almost decided to leave it that way.

After all, look at Charlie Brown's tree. . .

It wasn't half bad!!

: )



Anyway, I decided to get brave and take my own Christmas picture for our Christmas cards this year, instead of paying someone else to do them.

Big mistake.

Either he smiled.




 Or she did.
















Or someone moved.
















Or the camera blurred.
















Or someone would get a case of the sillies.




















Sigh.

This is as close as we got.




















I'll hire someone next week.

Anyway, back to my original thought.

I finally got around to getting the ornaments on the tree.

At midnight.

Decorating the tree is always a very emotional time for me.

I can tell you where every single ornament on my tree came from.

Where we got it.

And why.

I took a few pictures of my favorites. . .





This one is pretty self-explanatory.

GO HEELS!!!!

(They got stomped by UNLV while I was putting up my tree. . .another depressing thought!!)

; )











My stocking from my Christmas tree growing up.

For many years growing up, my Mom suffered with Lupus.

She wasn't able to get out and shop, but my tiny stocking always had money for me to get things that I wanted or needed for Christmas.











I just love this one.

Randy made it in Kindergarten.

He was so cute!!

: D









Princess H as a newborn.

Had God not worked a miracle in my life and in Randy's life and in our marriage, there would be no Baby H.

She always makes me smile.

I am so very thankful that HIS thoughts are not my thoughts and HIS ways are not my ways.

I would've just messed everything up.









Tyler's tiny footprint.

He was not quite one year old when we made this.

Now, his toes barely fit on the ornament.

They grow up way too fast.








I have so many things to be thankful for.

GOD is so good to me.

Much better than I deserve.

Now that I've had my (sigh my kids are growing up too fast can't I just put a brick on their head man look what God has brought me from) pity party, I'll share the other trees throughout the house tomorrow.

November 26, 2011

Too Much Turkey

Are you serious?

Thanksgiving has already come and gone?

That quickly?

Wow!!  Time passes in the blink of an eye.

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD:  let us make a joyful noise to
the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with
thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." 
~~Psalm 94:1-2

Usually, before Thanksgiving has even come around, I am soooo ready for Christmas.  This year just seems, I don't know. . .blah.

It's too warm.

There is no sign of snow in the future.

My Christmas cards aren't finished.

I've written my Christmas letter (and deleted it) five times.

Yes, I said FIVE times.

Ugggg. . .

BUT!!!

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. . .

I think I have found mine!!  ;)

Thanksgiving Day, we headed to Randy's sister's house.  Her name is Linda.  We've always been really close, so I was pretty excited about getting to spend Thanksgiving with them.

We loaded the van. . .



Stopped for a cameo of Randy and Mee Maw. . .



And were on our way (I'll skip that part. . .long, boring drive).


Here is Jerry carving the bird. . .


While the kids find ways to amuse themselves. . .


But the VERY BEST PART. . .

Was when Mark brought out his iPAD. . . .

And Randy was HOOKED!!!!!!






(HO HO HO!!!  Merry Christmas to me!!!)













So very blessed with wonderful family, friends, Prayer Warriors, and co-workers who love each other, but more importantly, love the LORD!

Season's Greetings from the Mulls~~















November 22, 2011

I Just Don't Fit In

The world says I should be bitter.

The world says I should be angry.

The world says I should be in tears.

The world says I should not be able to see how we will get through this.



Mee Maw has to have a mastectomy.

The cancer is invasive.

Her surgery is scheduled for two weeks from now.


But, you know what's strange. . .

We aren't sad.

We aren't devastated.

We've even been making jokes about boob shopping.

People of the world don't understand.

But GOD's people do.

You see. . .

GOD's people know that there will be twists and turns in the journey.

But that the journey will be so worthwhile.

GOD's people know that through tough times and trials, our faith will strengthen and we will draw nearer to Him.

GOD's people know that He is already in our tomorrows.

He holds our future in the palm of His holy hands.


"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and
lean not unto thine own understanding. 
In all ways acknowledge Him and
He shall direct thy path."  Proverbs 3:5-6


It is going to be okay.

My prayer warriors are on it.

And my Heavenly Father is in total control.

November 21, 2011

Mee Maw

While you're reading this, please don't think I'm having a pity party.  Just hang in there to the end, and you will see where I am headed here. . .

I lost my Dad when I was five years old.

Randy lost his dad only eight months before we met, in 1992.

Then I lost my mom when I was a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill (go Heels!).

And all of this loss really hit home in January of 2003, when T. was born.

But someone, somewhere made this comment to me:

"Your children cannot miss what they never had."

At the time, I found great comfort in that statement, and I resolved that I would not spend so much of my time in regret, thinking of all the people my children should have known or would have known. 

They know who their grandparents are, and that they are in Heaven waiting to meet them, but no emphasis has ever been placed on the fact that they aren't here.

But this. . .

This is different. . .

Because this is someone that they HAVE known. . .

And loved. . .

And adored. . .

And cherished. . .





This is Mee Maw.

Randy's mom.

Our kids love her TO PIECES!!!!

We found out today that she has breast cancer.

Again.

And as much as I believe God when He says,

 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

And as much as I put my trust in His word when it tells me in Psalm 103:3 that He has forgiven my iniquities and healed my diseases. . .

I still think of them. . .


And I know that someday, I will be telling them that their Mee Maw is waiting for them in Heaven as well. 

That's going to be tough.

But, God has taught me one thing better than anything else in this life. . .

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself"
(Matthew 6:34)

And. . .

"Be careful for nothing:  but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7)

So. . .

I think that, for now, I will enjoy watching my kids with her.

Reading books. . .

Working puzzles. . .

Talking about Jesus. . .

And I'll let God take care of tomorrow.

November 18, 2011

Sometimes Life Just Gives You Lemons. But GOD Gives You SunDrop!

“But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’
My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.”
Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)

I wish I could tell you why this verse is so important to me today.

I would love to share with you how it feels sometimes to be trapped. 

Caged.

Hunted like a wild animal.

Watched. 

Constantly. 

With others hoping you will make a simple mistake.

But I can't.

It's not something that I can share.

But GOD knows what I am dealing with. 

And that it is NOT going to steal my joy.




And I know. . .

That I have friends out there in the blogging world--

TRUE, GOD-LOVING, GOD-FEARING, I WILL STAY ON MY KNEES IN PRAYER

kinds of friends--

who will pray.

Not for me, though.

I've already given it all to Him.

But for those who are the hunters.

Who cannot be satisfied with a woman who follows Him.

And doesn't allow the enemy to rob her of her abundant joy.

The hunters, who, regardless of what I do or what I say or who I am

will never be satisfied.

Prayer is powerful.

More powerful than any two-edged sword.

I will survive.  I will be okay.  God will not allow me to be destroyed by lies.

I believe that.

And I am believing in my TRUE friends to keep those hunters in their prayers!



November 17, 2011

Filling My Bucket

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you know, I mean, you KNOW that God is trying to knock you over the head with something yet somehow you keep missing whatever it is He's throwing at you?

If you said no, I know your lying!  :-)

Let me start at the beginning.

Women's Retreat 2011.

Deidre started our retreat with a session about the woman at the well.  My mind automatically clicked back to a very similar Sunday School lesson a while back for the women and youth girls.  I remember the question being asked over and over, what's in your bucket?  It didn't take me long to realize, my bucket felt like this:

Not only did my bucket feel like it is filled with rocks, but it is heavy.  Burdensome.  And there is nothing else around it to fill it with. . .except more rocks.  I made up my mind that day that I wanted to dump my bucket and start over.

Back to the retreat. . .

The subject of the well brought those memories back.  I don't remember a lot about what Deidre said that night. . .I was too filled with conviction.  I sat in my seat and cried quietly for the entire time.  The entire time.  I heard her talking about the woman, about her past, her sins.  And about Jesus, looking beyond everything that the world sees, reaching deep, digging deep, to provide her with fresh clean water.  But not like water from here:
I mean water from here:
I went back to my room that night and cried well into the morning.  I cried until there were no more tears.  And I remember calling out to God, "OK Lord.  I hear you, I hear you.  But what am I supposed to DO with what I'm hearing??"

Fast Forward to October 2011

By God's intervention (I don't believe in coincidence anymore), I was able to snag 4 tickets to see Casting Crowns in concert in Greensboro.  I was at the right place at exactly the right moment!  Little would I know that they would be introducing their new CD.  Wanna guess what it's called????
Hi, Lord.  I see you're here again.  It's dummy me.  I feel you knocking and knocking at my brain again.  Uggggghhhhh.  What is WRONG with me??  What am I missing here?  My high school diploma and two college degrees aren't doing me any good here.  Common sense isn't helping any either. 

That night, for the very first time, I was introduced to a brand new song.  Part of it goes something like this:
"And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well."
Then, along comes Bible study.  Priscilla Shirer's One in a Million.

A study of Moses and his journey through the wilderness.

It's the story of Moses and his God-given challenge of freeing the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt and leading them into the promised land.  Thank you, Lord, for getting me away from that well stuff for a while--that was really starting to get me down.

Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  (Sometimes I do not appreciate God's sense of humor.)



The wilderness. 

The unknown. 

The desert.

Hmmmmm. . . .

So, let me get this straight.

Webster defines a "wilderness" as "an empty or pathless area."

And Moses' wilderness just happened to include desert areas.  As in, without water.  Or wells.

DING!!  DING!!  DING!!  Lord, I think I'm getting it. . .

I've spent a long time (years, probably) wandering.  Through my own personal desert.  Without the things that living water would use to fill my empty bucket.

Such as:

--Maybe I should trade out my financial worries. . . .
                                                       . . .for prayer and trusting in Him to take care of my needs.

        " But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ"  Philippians 4:19 

--Maybe I should trade things on TV that I really thought provided enjoyment. . .
                   . . .for things that are going to give me Spiritual fulfillment as well as enjoyment.

"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints;
he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked."
Psalm 97:10




--Maybe those "friends" that I spent so much of my time trying to make happy. . .
           . . .weren't truly my friends at all.  Maybe I should trust God to send me a true friend 
           that cares for me as much as I care for them--without me having to change who I am.

 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise:
but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
Proverbs 13:20

--Maybe all of those books that I was reading that I thought were great. . .
                     . . .would be time better spent reading things that will make me appreciate my  
                          blessings and love my Father more than ever!

 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9

--Maybe the music that used to make me want to sing and clap. . .
                                . . .would be more beneficial to me if I changed it to music that made me
                                     want to raise my hands and praise His name.

 "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms."
Psalm 95:1-2

--Maybe the time I spend complaining about the kids with issues in my classroom
                                             . . .should be spent praying for them and their families by name.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a r
ighteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

And now, I am filling my thoughts, my mind, and my soul with my Bible and books like these:
And people like this:
And music from here:
And as I continue to read and study God's word, and praise Him for His many blessings, I want my bucket to be filled with this:
and this. . .

And I want to encourage others to do the same. . .