“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
1 John 4:11 KJV
Happy Tuesday! One of the things I’m going to work on today is loving the people that get on my nerves. Is this a pride issue? Yes!
Have you ever felt like you are minding your own businesses and it seems like someone just wants to steal your joy? Maybe they are ignoring you or smacking when they eat. It could be even worse than that. Maybe they have done you wrong, physically or emotionally. You forgive them, but just don’t want to be in their presence.
The love mentioned in 1 John 4:11 is a type of love Jesus taught, where we are to love others expecting nothing in return. That also applies to people who get on our nerves. God loves us and surrounds us with love. One way we can show our love towards God is to love others as he loves us. I’m not saying this is easy or always happens immediately. It is something we should work on daily. While you are working on loving others, love yourself.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV
This morning when my daughter came to pickup Landon after working all night, I started thinking about how much the role of women and men has changed, and how it has affected the children. It’s not all good and not all bad. The bottom line is, we need to raise our children in the way of the Lord, because they are our future.
When I was a little girl, my mom stayed home to take us to wherever we needed to go, keep the house, sew our clothes, and cook dinners. Although our money was limited, as children, my siblings and I benefited greatly from this arrangement. We learned how to work in the summers on my grandma’s farm, where we picked vegetables and fruits, and assisted with preserving food for the winter. We learned how to cook, sew and clean house. We learned how to take care of the yard. We learned how to make gifts. We helped gather firewood. Someone always ensured we weren’t idly sitting around or getting into trouble. My father worked one job, but always worked on my grandmother’s farm. As we grew older, my parents chaperoned events. On the flip side, my mother, who seemed happy, later confessed not having a voice in the marriage. Bringing in a salary changes the terms of the relationship. The amount of salary makes a difference too.
When our children were growing up, I stayed home for the preschool years. Then, I went back to college and worked. Our money was still tight. I sewed and made most of their clothes and preserved food. I was around, but often exhausted. I chaperoned events half asleep. Although I acknowledged and still acknowledge my husband as the head of our household, I felt and still feel we are partners in decisions. I have been a working mom most of my adult life, but my husband has worked two jobs most of our married life together. I always dreamed of and wanted to stay home with our children, but it wasn’t a financially feasible option. We live a modest middle-class life. Our children didn’t learn how to work at home and spent a great deal of time in front of video games, computers and television. We didn’t have anyone to help us. We did the best we could. However, they turned out well. So, maybe they did learn something. Our son is working on his PhD in Computer Science, and our daughter is a married working mom, who is also attending college.
Moving on to the third generation, my daughter and son-in-law work hard. He has a state government job and he’s in the National Guard. She is a full-time LPN, who is pursuing her RN. Our grandson is smart and well-rounded. We help them with gaps in their schedules by keeping our grandson, which enhances our lives and seems to be good for Landon. I often want to stay home with my grandson, but realize that’s probably not a good idea for either of us. My daughter also would like to stay home, and feels the struggles most working moms feel. However, she seems to have a voice in her marriage. Even with all the corruption in the world, I feel like her children will turn out the best with the current setup. Once she gets out of school, she won’t be as tired, and her children will have the benefits of multigenerational influences.
One thing I haven’t mentioned is spiritual life. To my knowledge, my father didn’t believe in God most of my life. I’m pleased to say he does now, and we enjoy wonderful discussions about the Bible every time we see each other. My mother has always believed, but I can count the number of times I’ve seen her in Church. My maternal grandmother, who in her younger days enjoyed going out with her friends drinking and dancing, decided to turn her life around in her mid-forties. She spent many nights screaming at my father trying to convert him. Guess what? It didn’t work. My father wouldn’t allow me to be baptized when I was young, but both of my parents insisted my siblings and I go to church with my maternal grandparents on Sunday morning. I think this was their quiet time together, but regardless of the reason, God blessed us, especially me. My paternal grandparents were Christians. My paternal grandfather had a stroke when I was a young child and my paternal grandmother couldn’t drive, so it was rare for me to see them in church. However, the last month of my grandfather’s life, my parents would sneak me into his hospital room where I would sit and read the Bible to him every day. I was twelve and that certainly impacted the person I have become.
When I was a teenager, I saw some bad things happen in church, so when my children were born, I was very protective. I allowed them to be baptized, but kept them home until they were about eight or ten years old. At first I took them to Church alone, because my husband worked on Sundays. Later we went as a family. We went to early services on Christmas Eve, where they participated in the Children’s Program. When they became teenagers, we changed our traditions and attended the midnight service on Christmas Eve, where they also participated in the program. We always prayed before meals and at bedtime.
Whenever our children became adults, my son went to church for many years. He’s not attending now, but I pray he returns. Our daughter and son-in-law had a beautiful church wedding. Occasionally, they will attend. Our grandson has attended several times now. Whenever he comes over, we read Bible stories and continue our prayers at meals.
Proverbs 22:6 holds true through the generations I have watched grow up. Although they may depart from the way we taught them, they will return to it repeatedly because it is what they know. How are you raising your family? Someone once said it is rare when a child goes beyond his parents in any area of life. Are you teaching your children about our sweet Lord? Are you teaching your children how to work and how to give back to others? Are you teaching your children manners and respect? The children are our future. What are we going to do to help them make the world a better place? Paul teaches in Ephesians 6:4 that you should “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 11:19 instructs you to “teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” If you aren’t doing these things, it’s not too late. Start today. There is so much corruption in the world. I recently watched a documentary about young people feeling empty and turning in the wrong direction. They don’t understand the emptiness can only be filled by God. Why not teach your children a better way?
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Happy Tuesday! It’s a great day to try something new!
Have you ever felt like everyone is against you? Do you feel hopeless and afraid? Does it seem like things couldn’t possibly be worse? We have all felt this way from time to time. However, there are some challenges that are so big that we just can’t face them alone. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should fix our eyes on Jesus. As I have said many times before, we are never alone and he is always with us. Yet, there is more. When we are focused on Jesus, we are focused on good, rather than our troubles. We are focused on love, rather than the weight of the world. We are focused on faith, rather than being afraid that everything falls on our shoulders to handle. We are focused on what his pain and suffering means for us today. He can and will change the outcome of your situation, if you will give him a chance.
Today, fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of the problems of the world. God bless you.
If you forgive the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others.
Do you ever have a difficult time forgiving? Do you forgive someone only to find the same thing happens repeatedly? Imagine how frustrated God must be with us. I know I make the same mistakes over and over. The truth is we don’t need to wait until Forgiveness Thursday to forgive. We should stop what we are doing immediately and forgive someone when they have wronged us. I have a professor who says he pulls off the side of the road when he begins to experience road rage, so he can get his heart in the right place. It makes me laugh. You must admit, if you are running late for work, and you have to pull off the road, you’ll get straight with God quickly. It’s tough, but it keeps your heart pure and prevents bitterness. We are so fortunate that God forgives us, no matter how many times we make a mistake or how bad it is. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness. It’s so simple that some refuse to believe.
Today, I encourage you to release your soul from guilt and anger. Ask for forgiveness, while forgiving others. God bless you.
I am truly honored to have been nominated a second time for the Liebster Award. This time I was nominated by When I’m with You . . . Whitney Ibe Blog. The author (Whitney) of the Whitney Ibe Blog is upbeat and full of sunshine. Whitney’s positive outlook is inspiring and I love to read her posts. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so soon, because her inward and outward beauty sparkles through in her writing. Thank you for thinking of me Whitney.
The Liebster Award is an Internet Award given to bloggers by other bloggers. The German word “liebster” means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart. The Award is a nice way to recognize and welcome new bloggers, while allowing others to discover them, as well.
The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer
What made you start blogging?I love to read and write. I’ve always wanted to write books. I love the Lord above all. When I was growing up I was taught to share God’s love with others. The church I attended called the sharing I’m referring to “witnessing”. I was taught that witnessing was wonderful and that we should share the gospel through our lives and words everywhere we go. The Bible talks about spreading the gospel. That is what I did.
Over time witnessing has become politically incorrect. As a supervisor at work I was told that I had to be careful about what I said because my workplace and I could be sued. I could lose my home if I mentioned God at work. I heard others say it wasn’t appropriate to say “Merry Christmas”. “Happy Holidays” was the correct holiday greeting. Well, if you have ever had God’s love inside you like I do, you will understand when I say I was about to explode. The funny thing is, I didn’t have to say anything because God’s love just radiates out of me. Over time I just became miserable. So, I sought out another way to spread God’s love, blogging. It helped me to feel more fulfilled. I felt a little like Jesus must have felt when he traveled home and his hometown rejected him, because most of my friends and family refused to look at my blog. I have been told “that was a coincidence, not a miracle,” “you are to legalistic,” and last week “you’re a fanatic”. This doesn’t bother me too much. I feel like it’s their loss. I pray that I will have the opportunity to write and publish books in the future?
If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit?I love to travel. If I could go anywhere, I’d visit the Holy Lands first. Books, Maps, Photography and Internet information is wonderful and I’m thankful, but nothing is quite like seeing and experiencing places first hand. I want to go to the places we read about in our Bibles.
What is your favorite food? Anything my husband cooks is my favorite food! He’s an amazing chef! I am especially fond of fish.
What is your favorite sport? I’m not a big sports fan. I enjoying watching my college alma mater football team play (Florida State). I also enjoy watching figure skating, and swimming and diving teams. During warmer months I swim and I walk year round.
Do you prefer digital or physical books? Both. It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to bring hundreds of books on a phone or tablet with you everywhere you go. It’s awesome. However, I still like to hold a book in my hands. I make notes in my Bible, so that I can pass them down. Likewise, I have a digital and physical planner. To me it sometimes seems like the digital world is fragile. I often think of the loss of information in the library of Alexandria.
What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing? I want my writing to be perfect grammatically, and inspirationally. The days I feel my writing falls short, seem to be the days I have the most positive comments.
What color are your eyes? Green. Most of the time the whites of my eyes are red from Sjogren’s Syndrome, which makes them look even greener. I’ve had people tell me that my eyes look like they are bleeding sometimes.
Recount a brief childhood story. What happened? When I was a teenager I worked for the County School Board one summer giving swimming lessons. Five days a week my parents would drop me off at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus that would take me and a few other brave teens to Blue Springs. Blue Springs has ice-cold water in the middle of the day. When we arrived the sun wasn’t high in the sky yet, and the trees shaded the edges of the swimming area. So, most days we spent half of the time trying to get wet above the knees.
The children we were teaching varied in size from kindergarten to I haven’t been able to graduate yet. So, some of my students were larger in stature than I was. In the middle of the swimming area was a floating dock about fifty to seventy-five feet from the surrounding three shorelines. All the experienced swimmers would hang out in the middle. So, it was my goal to have my students swimming to the dock and back by the end of the summer. The problem was most of the students couldn’t put their face in the crystal clear water when they started lessons, and the shorelines dropped to about twenty-five feet deep about ten feet away from the shore.
All summer I worked with the students until the last week of lessons had arrived. I was determined that I would have at least one student swimming to the dock successfully. However, I only had one who could dog paddle a few feet. On the last day of lessons I looked up into the eyes of my six-foot tall most successful student and proudly proclaimed “today you will graduate because you are going to swim to the dock! Isn’t that great!” He shook and looked worried. So I reassured him by saying “don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you and I can save you if you can’t make it.” I was about five foot three and weighed a little less than a hundred pounds. My student looked to be about three hundred pounds. I wasn’t worried at all though. He could dog paddle now.
We made our way side by side toward the floating dock. I was glowing with pride. After all, I had taught this football player to swim. As soon as we were about waist deep, he began to panic. So, I told him to just stand up. That should have been my sign to turn back, but I was convinced he could do it, and I was a “good” swimmer who had mastered life saving techniques. We continued across. It wasn’t long before the water was deep and my student knew it. He was on top of me like I was a floating log. It’s times like these that you realize the lifeguard’s are also students, who in this case were obviously not paying attention because they would have seen me bobbing up and down with a football player on my back. I’m guessing he wasn’t as popular as he thought either, because no one was trying to save him. Finally, I slapped him as hard as I could and said, “get a hold of yourself, the water is only a foot deeper than your height. If you go down, you can jump up off the bottom.” I don’t really know why he believed this, because if you looked down, the water was clear enough to see that it was easily twenty feet deep where we were swimming.
So, we kept inching towards the dock, with my student trying to drown me. I was thinking that I probably needed to ask for assistance to get him back to the shore, if we survived the trip over. Suddenly, he began to swim with great vigor. I looked at him and realized he was looking at a beautiful face on the dock. The girl waved and smiled. I guess you could say he didn’t want to seem embarrassed, because he pointed at me and said, “hey, I’m teaching this girl how to swim. I’ll be there in a minute. She’s having trouble.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I started to speak and he said “shut up. Just get me there and I will find my own way back.” That day I learned that love will find a way. He made it to the dock and spent the remainder of the time with this young lady. Then, he swam back to the shore. The best part of this story is the two later married and are still married today.
What type of music do you like to listen to? This is a tough question for me. I love praise, gospel, hymns, pop, 70’s and 80’s tunes, and classical music. I like some country music.
Do you collect anything? If so, what is it? Yes. I love books.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself writing books, teaching and comforting others. In my free time, I will spend time with my family.
But the LORD stood with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Saturday. My sweet grandson has spent the day with me while his mom sleeps. She’s a working nurse on midnight shift. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with him all day, but the LORD gave me strength.
A few days ago I was provided an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do and prayed about for many years, teach Sunday School. Isn’t that great? I feel like this opportunity is something God is providing me, and conversely I think I might be an answer to someone else’s prayer. So, what’s holding me back? Only one thing, am I able to make the commitment physically? I know it sounds like virtually no exertion is involved, but for me just getting there takes a great deal of effort, and I want to honor my commitments. I know the answer, but hesitate because I know I have limitations. I also know that God will let me run around in circles like the Israelites in the desert as long as I can, but avoiding the opportunity only hurts me. So, I will ask God to stand with me and give me strength. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Please share.
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107.9
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to practice forgiveness.
Have you ever felt empty? Have you felt like no matter what you do, you can’t find happiness? Is being content something you can’t seem to wrap your mind around? Are you an overachiever, a workaholic, a perfectionist or something similar? Do you feel you have to fill every moment of the day with an activity? Do you dread quietness? I know how you feel. There is only one thing that can fill that hole, God. You can try everything you can think of, but I promise nothing will fill that hole but God. Start your day with God and put God first all day long, and he will fill the emptiness in your soul.
We can’t always see where the road leads, but God promises there is something better up ahead we just have to trust him. Psalm 56:3
Happy Wednesday! It’s a great day to Use Your Gifts to Change the World! So, what will you do?
Do you ever feel like you are unable to make positive change? Do you feel like the world is too big? Then, I have good news. The smallest of changes are viral in the scheme of changing the world. Whenever you do something as simple as smiling at someone having a bad day, the results are beneficial, and that’s not all. Positive changes grow exponentially. Yesterday, I actually heard a very nice lady, who collects items for children in need, say that she had so many people donate that she had to create a new list of items to prevent sending volunteer donors away. She was also taking overflow donations to other agencies. Isn’t that great! That’s how it should be. When we work together to help society, government doesn’t have to. As I’ve said so many times before, changing the world doesn’t have to involve donations or money. You can smile, give a friend a hug, tell the manager of a restaurant or store about an employee who is doing a good job, leave a note, and the list goes on and on. There is no limit to what YOU can do.
As you go out into the world today, start at home and radiate. Make a difference everywhere you go. God bless you.
It’s Try Something New Tuesday! A few weeks ago I began a new health journey through Noom Coach. This seems to be working for me. I just started week three and I’ve lost about 15 pounds. I’ve also been making healthier food choices and exercising more. Every day I try something new, which keeps the program fresh. I don’t just mean that I try new recipes or exercises, but I try new ways to conquer cravings and other temptations.
Life is similar. Sometimes we get in a rut of going through a day-to-day routine, which can wreak havoc on our relationships and our self-esteem. We can get so caught up in what we are focused on that we lose who we are and what we believe in. At the end of the day we don’t feel like we have enough time to enjoy life. We may not even think we are worthy of God’s love. Always remember that God thinks you are beautiful. You are his child and he loves you.
One way to prevent burnout and getting caught up in every day life routines is to look at your tasks differently. Noom Coach teaches to make a list of the “have to’s” and the “want to’s” in your life. Then mix match combinations on the list. I know this was intended for food and exercise, but why couldn’t you use it in general life. For example, if taking the kids to ball practice is on your “have to” list, and paying it forward is on your “want to” list, why not pick up other kids going to practice on the way and relieve another parent. If you have been wanting to read your Bible, but you can’t find time before or after work, take your lunch to work with you and find somewhere quiet to read. There are endless possibilities for work and home.
Remember, variety is the spice of life. I can’t wait to read what you plan to try. God bless you.
The Spirit that is within you is greater than the Spirit that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Happy Monday! I have some good news to share today. We had a few trials and tribulations yesterday. My husband had to go to the emergency room at the hospital. That is always a little scary, but God was with us, the doctor and hospital staff. He’s much better today. Also we had some issues with our well. That is all resolved. One of the things I thank God for every morning is a hot shower in my climate controlled house. So, that’s my good news. Please share yours.
Do you ever feel like your life is spinning out of control? Like you need to frantically run around and ask everyone to pray for you? Do you feel like you just don’t know the answers? Almost every day since I started this blog, I have told you that God is with you. Did you know that God is for you, with you, AND in you?
Romans 8:31 says “If God be for us, who can be against us?” You are also God’s temple and “the Spirit of God” dwells in you ( 1 Corinthians 3:16). Jesus says in John 14:16-17 “and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
The Holy Spirit lives within us. He is our guide. Have you thought of what it would be like to wander through a cave with no light or guide? The guide makes the experience so much less frightening and more exciting. That’s what the Holy Spirit is like. When you are running around in this frightening world, listen to your heart. You know, that gut feeling you get – that is the Holy Spirit guiding you. The more you make him your friend, counselor, comforter and guide, the happier you will be.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday. God bless you.