Monday, December 31, 2007

To pee or not to the kitchen.

Last night when I left to go to Wal-Mart my 6 year old, was in bed. When we returned home, Gene was watching TV, but Alivia was standing in the hallway so I asked her why she was up. Without taking his eyes off of the TV, Gene answered for her, "Peeing in the trash can."

With much drama, Alivia threw her head back and started to cry.
"What?" I said as I walked to her and pulled her against me.
As I stood comforting her, I looked into the bathroom expecting to see a puddle on the floor around the small trash can but the floor was clean.

"Not there," Gene said, "the kitchen garbage."

"WHAT?" I said as I left my daughter crying her eyes out in the hallway and headed for the kitchen. Gene then began to explain what he had just witnessed...

"I was sitting here on the couch when Alivia came out into the hallway and began to do the pee-pee dance.
I told her to go into the bathroom.
She then ran into the living room, ran around the coffee table right in front of me and into the kitchen.
I leaned back on the couch to see her legs dangling from the garbage can.
I got up and went into the kitchen and she was sitting on top of the garbage can peeing."

I found this picture on the inter net and it's the same can we have except ours is missing the flip part of the lid. Now you can clearly see from the picture of this garbage can, that you have to be skilled. Not only is it far from the ground once on top of it, but it's quite the balancing act for someone so small. Stunned & that she can fit her bottom in the small opening of a trash can, full of trash without tipping it over, I returned to my drama queen to comfort and question her.

I helped Alivia get cleaned up and then sent her back to bed so I could clean up the trash can. Much to my amazement, she managed to get every drop into her kitchen commode. It's bad enough to have spaghetti sauce running down the side of the can, but urine...not sure I could've handled that.

I can't help but think of how we are like this sometimes with the Lord. He has so much for us and yet, by choice, we go somewhere else. Alivia would have been more comfortable sitting on the low to the ground toilet seat in the bathroom, but instead she ran to the kitchen and balanced herself on top of a pile of garbage. Been there, done that.

Many times in my life I find myself on top of a pit of garbage wondering, how did I get here? Bad choices, worse consequences and much regret was the story of my life, sad to say still is sometimes. My Savior has found me many times in the midst of garbage and yet He hugged, kissed me and cleaned me up. Just like with Alivia...even though I knew she had just sat on top of a yucky, filled to the brim garbage can, I didn't hesitate on hugging, kissing her and cleaning her up.

This morning I asked Alivia about her new toilet and she just looked at me puzzled, repeating my very words last night, "WHAT?"
Needless to say, we got a good laugh.

                                                ~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Big hair & bigger eyebrows

Last night I enjoyed a night of wonderful fellowship as I met at a friends' home with former high school classmates. May '08 we will gather again as we celebrate our 20th year out of school.

There was so much laughter as we shared memories, pictures and what is happening in our lives now. Most of these people I've known for over 30 years since we also went to elementary together so it was so much fun to reminisce. We even laughed as we sang a line from the popular song Friends are Friends Forever by Michael W. Smith. Back in the day, we used to sing and cry to this song as we dramatically sang the words while holding hands and swaying back and forth.
(I just so happen to be playing this song for your enjoyment right now.)

As I was looking at pictures one thing consistent with the girls was our big 80's hair styles. Huge, stiff & just plain ugly. We definitely lived by the motto bigger is better as we used countless cans of Aqua Net to keep our ugly hair styles in place. The guys thought they were so cool as they would pose with their muscles smaller than my pinkie finger.
What struck me is that thanks be to God,
we have all changed for the better.

There was not one of us that showed up last night looking the same way we did when we received our diplomas 20 years ago. Nick & Jodi weren't wearing their homecoming King & Queen crowns, Matt didn't wear huge glasses that covered half of his face, Kim & Jennie didn't wear their cheer uniforms, Sheryl & Tami didn't have feathered hair, Jeff wore a winter coat instead of a letter jacket, Patti wasn't having people sign her yearbook, and I didn't have Brooke Shield eyebrows that covered my forehead...
we have all changed, for the better.

But what if we had walked in last night dressed the same, looking the same and acting the same way we did when we were those nerdy teenagers that thought we were cool? What if we had passed notes to each other instead of talking? You know the kind of notes...Do you like me? Check yes or no. What if we all wore the same styles we wore then? For one, we wouldn't have had anything to laugh at.

Last night as we sat and talked I looked at my friends with love. I love how we've grown and matured. I love that we're all walking with the Lord. I love that we can ask each other for prayer with confidence that the ones being asked will pray. We are full of respect, love and wisdom and it was very evident that even though we have changed over the years, we still love each other, but we're different.
We have all changed, for the better.

This morning as I was sharing with my husband what a great time we had, I was thinking about my relationship with Jesus. What if once we invited Him into our life, that was it? How boring it would be if we never grew in knowing Him. I love how I can read a verse that I've known my whole life, and He just shows it to me in a different light. I love that He is still the same God that Moses worshipped.
He never changes, for He is the better.

As with my high school friends, I'm glad that I don't have the same relationship with Jesus I did 20 years ago. I love that there's so much more to learn about Him and that I will never stop being a student of Him. I want to know Him. I don't want to be complacent in my relationship with Him. He is changing me, for the better.

Thank you Jesus that I don't have big hair, mega thick eyebrows and parachute pants. Thank you for changing me inside and out. I don't want to stay the same when it comes to You, so please take this hungry, teachable heart and continue to draw me closer to You.

I love you class of '88.
Let's continue to allow God to change us-for the better.
~Many Blessings~

Monday, December 24, 2007

Give Him the Name JESUS...

Luke 1:30-32a
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name
I can't even imagine what Mary felt that day. Life changed forever for this sweet, obedient, selfless woman. What I love about her is said in Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." What a display of faith, love, devotion, trust and obedience.
I want that in my life. When God tells me to go, I want to be like Mary and go. Asking questions seems to be okay with God as Mary asked a few questions herself such as "You know I've never been with a man before so are you sure?" But in the end God had her complete devotion. Just what He was looking for.
When I had my kids after the nurses got them cleaned up and wrapped tightly in a blanket they would bring my baby back to me and lay my tiny bundle of joy on my chest and I would whisper their name to them. Wonder if she did that with Jesus before she put him in the manger. Did she whisper the name Jesus like I do when I feel afraid? Did she say the name of Jesus through tears like I sometimes do? There is just something about his name that cuts through all fear, shame, doubt and makes my knees weak.
I know what it does for me to say his sweet precious name, but to actually say it face to face to him in the first moments of his life on earth?? I can only imagine it left Miss Mary unraveled in her bed of hay.
Take this time to love on your sometimes unlovable ones this Christmas season. Try to slip into Mary's sandals and get into her mindset for a moment. You just may come back to reality different then when you left.
If you are spending Christmas alone, know that your Savior is so excited to get you one-on-one. Soak in His presence and know that with Him in your life you're never alone.
Take care, my sweet sisters...
may God bless you as we praise and worship our precious
King of Kings
For the Cool Christmas Giveaway winners....
Lysa announced on her blog this morning that the winner of the BeautiControl $100.00 giveaway is...Becky Avella! I'm so excited that you get to pamper yourself~you deserve it!
And for my drawing for the cd that was playing yesterday, titled Kari Jobe (prounounced like Job in the Bible) the winner is...tiggerdaisy!! I was just listening to this cd driving around today~it will bless you! You can visit Kari at She told me the other day she has a new cd coming out soon...I can't wait!
WOOHOO!! I'm so excited for both of you! E-mail me & I will get back to you this week to give you all the details.
~Many Blessings~

Saturday, December 22, 2007

For all my Stressed out Sisters...

By Lelia Chealey

Well, once again the Christmas season has arrived
Another Black Friday that I have survived

Hundreds of dollars spent on things my kids don't need
From the latest video games to books they'll never read

My New Year's resolution is always to focus on Jesus' birth
But each year I get caught up in nothing of much worth

Eleven months out of the year I make cookies called Break' N Bake
But in December its cookies from scratch I try to make

I bake more cookies than Betty Crocker has ever seen
At first the kids and I have fun but by the dozen I get real mean

So as I'm up past midnight making cookies all by myself
I begin to feel the stress and wonder if Santa could spare an elf

I still need to write and mail out our Christmas letters
For our family photo I need to buy everyone matching sweaters

I have to take the kids to the mall to sit on Santa's knee
I still need to find, unpack, set up and decorate the tree

I need to get the gifts out of hiding that I so lovingly picked out
I promise after wrapping for two hours to not scream and shout

I need to go buy my gift that will be from my husband to me
Even though throughout the year I complain about his lack of creativity

Like Martha Stewart I must create a wreath from scraps to hang on my front door
Smile when hubby asks me to make something for his work party the night before

As my "To Do" list dances through my stressed out mind
The tears start to flow as my emotions begin to unwind

For I realize once again it is that I have done
Again I have broken my promise to God to just focus on His Son

I really don't want my kids to have memories of my bad behavior
I want to teach them how to stay focused on the birth of our Savior

So I humbly ask God to forgive me as I clean up my kitchen mess
I ask Him to help me re-focus so my family I can bless

Tomorrow when my family wakes up on this day in December
We'll read the story of baby Jesus so we'll always remember

That the Christmas season is a time of joy, peace and love
As we thank God and celebrate His gift to us from above

Copyright 2007 Lelia Chealey

If you're visiting from Lysa's site~WELCOME! For my part in the giveaway: $100.00 gift certificate to BeautiControl ( to pick out products of your choice to pamper yourself with. And also a poem of your choice that I've written. I've written funny poems about carpooling, husbands, Toddler Art (on the wall), Real Survivor (from the Survivor show), PMS, diets,God's Gardener...Also poems on more serious topics such as miscarriage & divorce. PLUS if you post a comment on both Lysa's site & mine then you get to be included in a separate drawing from me. I'm giving away a copy of the cd by Kari Jobe a dynamic singer from Dallas, TX who you should be able to hear singing her song called "The More I Seek You." So post away my sisters!
The poem I wrote above I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to pass it on to other stressed out sisters trying to pull off the Perfect Christmas. I just ask that you please include my name, copyright & blog address.
~Many Blessings~

Friday, December 21, 2007

Could never walk in Mary's sandals


If you're visiting from Lysa's blog I'm so happy you're here!

Last night during our six year old daughter's Christmas program at church I held a 9 day old baby who is just so tiny and precious. As we sang "Away in the Manger" together I began thinking about Jesus' mom Mary. Okay, there's a reason why God picked sweet, innocent Mary to be the chosen mother of Jesus instead of me.

Here's how the Bible would read if I had been the one in Mary's sandals...

And the angel finished telling Lelia that she had been chosen to carry baby Jesus.
Lelia stopped washing her clothes in the river & said, "Wait a minute want me to do WHAT? I can't do that, no way. You've got the wrong girl."

Angel: "Look , I'm just as surprised as you are that God picked you so don't complain...just do it!"

Then the angel gladly left her.
Later, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream telling Joseph to not be afraid to take Lelia home as his wife and when Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Lelia home as his wife.

He then decided to move to another town, so after packing his beautiful bride on the back of the donkey, they headed out.
A few miles down the road Lelia began to whine, "Joeeeeeeeeeeeey!! Are we there yet? You know what?
Just stop the donkey!
Stop the donkey!
I want off of this thing!"

"Lelia, honey, were making good time, and if we stop now we'll be way behind schedule."

"Joseph if you don't stop this donkey now & let me off to rest, so help me..."

Wanting to keep his girl happy, Joseph stopped the donkey & gently helped Lelia get down carefully from the animal. Lelia then found a big rock and sat down on it.

As Joseph began to eat the snacks he had packed in his back pack, he could feel the cold stares coming from Lelia. He stopped eating and looked at her and asked, "What's wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with me?" Lelia snarled. "Let's see Joseph. First you make me go through my possessions and pack what I can fit into this tiny bag and make me choose 1 pair of sandals out of the 15 that I love. Then you make your 65 pounds heavier very pregnant wife ride on the back of this donkey you call The Blessing while you take me on the not-so-scenic route of the desert while only going 2 miles an hour. So what's wrong with me Joey is that I have one pair of tight sandals for my swollen feet that I can't even see, I'm fat, and my back & butt are sore. Let's not forget that you just informed me how you "forgot" to make a hotel reservation in Bethlehem. Oh, AND to top it all off, when I politely asked you to stop so I can rest, you give me attitude by yanking me off this pet of yours and before my feet touch the ground you're feeding your face. Any more questions?"

Looking around for the angel that told him not to be afraid of taking Lelia as his wife, Joseph hid on the other side of the donkey while quietly eating his granola mix until his wife calmed down.
Twenty minutes had passed when a refreshed Lelia sweetly informed the love of her life that she was ready to get going. After struggling to help his 65 pound heavier barefoot very pregnant wife back onto The Blessing, Joseph began to lead the way again...


Okay, need I say more? I have trouble saying "yes" when I'm asked to help out in the nursery at church, so God definitely knew what He was doing when He chose Miss Mary instead of Miss Lelia to carry His precious Son!

Don't you just adore Mary though? She had to have been scared out of her mind. Our daughter, Alyssa, who will turn 18 next week is 6 months pregnant right now & is scared of what lies ahead for her. I can't imagine how it would be right before her due date in April if some man pulled up to our house on a donkey & said, "Let's go baby."

Forget the uncomfortable ride Joseph offered Mary, he took her away from her support group~her family. I know as a Grandma-to-be I'd be crushed if my 1st born moved away. I wonder how Mary's mom felt as she watched her pregnant teen ride off into the sunset with Joseph? I wonder if this is the thing that brought Mary's mom closer to God? I know my daughter's unexpected pregnancy has done that for me . I'm sure there was a lot of crying, but seems to me that faith outweighed the fallen tears.

Lord, You are beyond awesome. I thank You for choosing such a willing hearted servant such as Mary to give birth to your Son. Thank You for knowing just when to create me. You know how I can't stand getting dirt in my flip flops in the summer time. You know how much I loved being pampered by the nurses in the hospital after giving birth to my 3 kids. You know I'm a "take 2 showers a day" type of gal, so Lord thank you for making me now & not then.

Dirty sandals, a donkey, river water and wrapping my baby up in swaddling clothes after giving birth instead of the nurses doing it for me...just not my cup of tea.
Somehow, I guess you knew that.
~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Follow the Leader

Recently I was pulling a late night when my 6 year old daughter Alivia woke up. She saw I was still up so she stumbled over and sat on my lap. As I held her in my arms hoping to get her back to sleep, I started singing softly to her. Eyes closed, head against my chest, she whispered, "Please stop."

I stopped singing the words and started to hum the song instead. "Mom, please." Not being offended by her midnight request, I kept completely quiet as my leg began to softly bounce. As she slid herself off my lap, I could tell she was clearly irritated with my efforts to help her return to dream land. She looked at me and with a hint of disgust said, "You're still singing in your head!" Needless to say, she tucked herself back into bed.

I wonder if God also gets that way with me sometimes? You know, just plain irritated with me when I choose to have selective hearing. There are times when I know God has asked me not to do something, but I think I need it in my life. In order to keep the forbidden in close range, I just change the way I do it, hoping my lack of obedience will go unnoticed. Instead of singing, I hum and instead of humming I bounce. It's as if no matter what God asks me to change I still keep the rhythm of disobedience going inside of me instead of just changing my tune to what the Master Musician wants for my life.

I really need to trust in the Lord to direct my paths even if it means to stop doing something that He knows isn't good for me. I may not agree with Him, but I need to trust Him enough to surrender whatever He wants given up. I need to know that He doesn't even have to give me this big explanation of why it's not good for me. That's where my faith steps in. When my husband asks our kids to not do something and they challenge him with the question "Why?" his authoritative answer is simply "Because I said so."
Think I've heard the same answer from my heavenly Father a time or two. Or three...

Funny how daily life is just so much better when I don't try to hum when He's asked me not to sing. He knows my thoughts, so even though my mouth isn't moving if I choose to still sing in my head I haven't fooled Him. Just means that I'm being disobedient of what He has asked of me. I want a life completely surrendered to Jesus even if that means giving up something that I want or think I need.

When my heart is obedient to my what my Savior asks of me I am just beyond amazed at what He replaces my surrendered areas with.

Lord, I thank You for using someone like my irritated, sleepy-headed daughter in the middle of the night to teach me to just follow the Leader with whole hearted trust.
I want to know the plans that You have for my life Lord.

~Many Blessings~

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Grace meets Innocence

As many of you know, our daughter, Alyssa, who will turn 18 at the end of this month, is expecting a baby girl in April '08. Exactly 4 months ago today is when I found out I'll be called Grandma before even being close to being over the hill! I'm just so proud of myself that I can actually say the "G" word without breaking into hives! I've just come so far in 2 trimesters!

Lately, Alyssa's taste in TV viewing has changed from shows like Desperate Housewives to documentary programs that show moms having babies. The other morning while watching a young lady in labor, she asked, "Mom, do contractions hurt?" As I took a 30 second stroll down memory lane, my body recalled the painful, excruciating, hard contractions I endured during each of the 3 natural births I've had. Coming back to reality, I just smiled sweetly at her and with a twinkle in my eye said,
"No honey, contractions don't hurt."

When society looks at a teen mom, one thing that is not seen is innocence. When their name appears on a baby's birth certificate before it appears on a high school diploma, innocence is not even in the picture. All innocence once possessed by this child seems to have been lost and replaced by rebellion instead. And yet as I stood in my kitchen, my young pregnant daughter showed me that she still has some innocence left in her.
She still needs me.

As Alyssa heads into unknown territory and begins the last 3 months of her pregnancy, I thank God what He showed me tonight as I thought more about the contraction question she asked the other morning. He gave me a look into my teenagers heart under a different light as He spoke to me her unspoken needs. Guess it's His way of showing me how much she needs her mom as she soon becomes one. When I look at this beautiful, soon to be teen mom, I see so much more than society could ever see.

I see tears of fear fall from her beautiful green eyes as she cries herself to sleep because she knows she's rushed motherhood. I see a mom's pride in her smile when she lovingly studies the ultrasound pictures. I hear a testimony when she says having an abortion was an option she never considered. I witness strength when I see her get up every morning and go to school determined to graduate early in January instead of June. I hear love as she describes the sound of her baby's heartbeat over the phone to her friends after a doctor's appointment. I feel hope as she places my hand on her tummy to feel her baby girl kick.

One thing I've repeatedly asked God for since August 16th when we found out of her pregnancy, is grace. Lord, teach me how to show it to her. Through You, let me be it to her. There is 4 minutes between classes at her school. Somehow in that time frame which adds up to only 20 minutes a day, she is ruthlessly the target of ridicule by bored people. She keeps a lot of stuff inside, so I have no idea of the extent of the garbage she sees, hears, or feels at school, but at the end of her day when she walks through the door of our home, does she see grace in the way I smile at her? Does she hear grace in how I talk to her? Does she feel grace in my hugs? Is the walk to her bedroom any different than the walk to her next class at school?

I may not be able to protect her from the words she hears at school or how society views pregnant teens, but through Christ I can extend the grace to my daughter that she needs. I have seen so many displays of love & grace to my daughter over the last four months.

As together as Alyssa may try to appear, I know that I have a young, scared teen under my roof. A teen who wants to be signing up for college classes instead of Lamaze classes. A teen who wants to go shopping with her friends at the teen clothing stores instead of with her mom at the maternity store. A teen who wants to be going to basketball practice after school instead of work. A teen who has wondered out loud if she'll ever be worthy enough for some man to want to marry. A teen who just wants to go back to the days of having only one Mom in our home.

At the end of my day, I have a choice. What will I pour over my daughter's head when she walks through the door of our home? A bucket of shame or a bucket of grace?
I choose grace.

A teen Mom. Full of life, love, laughter and an innocence no one can deny.

"Mom, do contractions hurt?"

Yes, baby, but you were worth it all!

Thank you so much for my beautiful daughter Lord. I am beyond blessed to be her Mom.

~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dog Hair, Chicken & Wild Child

Snow Day!

School was closed yesterday, December 11th due to a winter storm. What a blessing to be able to unexpectedly stay home alone with three loving, sweet, obedient gifts from God...
otherwise known as our children.

Okay, this is what really went down..."Is anyone out there? Can you hear me? I'm trapped! Please, send help--- immediately!" That's the plea I would've put out on an emergency radio yesterday if I owned one as I woke up to find myself outnumbered in my small home. As my husband Gene braved the storm and went to work, I was left home alone to brave 2 meanie teenies, a 6 year old wild child and a smelly puppy. Too dangerous outside to drive to the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of Starbucks, I instead escaped to the basement to spend some alone time with God.
Help me Jesus...

All of a sudden my quiet time was interrupted by  Alivia or Wild Child who was giggling, screaming and chasing Kane, our son's 7 month old puppy around the pool table. Even though pure chaos is going on next to me, I decide to ignore the noise and just remain in my peaceful mindset.

That is, until I heard the demand on the puppy from Wild Child to
"Drop the chicken!"

 This immediately caught my attention, so I looked over my shoulder just in time to see our dinner, an already cooked, BBQ-flavored whole chicken drop from Kane's mouth. I jumped up from my peaceful retreat and joined my daughter in yelling at the confused canine who quickly took shelter under the pool table.

As I go upstairs to throw away our dinner, I'm followed by Wild Child, who is apologizing and Kane, who wants to play fetch with his stolen goods. On the way to the garbage can I begin to wonder if the "5 second rule" that my husband lives by, much to my disgust, applies in this case.

Do I blow the dog hair off of the chicken or just throw it away and thaw out some hamburger for burritos? Trying to decide what to do, I look into Kane's innocent eyes that are fixated on the poultry in my hand. I feel sad from the image that pops into my head of Kane covered in icicles after being put outside by my hungry for the chicken in the garbage/unforgiving husband. On the other hand, if I put the chicken back in the fridge, threaten the kids with a gift-less Christmas if they talk, my husband will wonder why I won't share a nice romantic chicken dinner with him.

Decisions, decisions, what's a girl to do? I'll never tell, but let's just say I asked God's forgiveness between every bite of the beef burritos that my secret-sworn kids and I ate as Gene enjoyed his marinated-in-dog-saliva chicken. However, he unknowingly did help lessen my guilt by being a bit cocky when he said,
"Go ahead and eat your sorry burritos... more chicken for me!" Hmmm...okay.

Well, thank you Lord for an exciting morning yesterday. Please help Alivia a.k.a. Wild Child to remember to never show our dinner to our playful puppy and please forgive me for taking Gene's 5 second rule to the extreme. I have a feeling the original Proverbs 31 wife would be very disappointed in me, but if it takes Gene picking dog hair out of his teeth to keep the peace in our home, then that's just a sacrifice I had to make. What hubby doesn't know will never hurt's not like he's going to turn into a dog by sharing Kane's germs, but I'll stay alert to notice any canine-like behavior...

Psalm 59:15
They wander about for food and growl if they are not satisfied.
~Many Blessings~

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Diagnosis: Ugly Heart Disease

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

I stayed home from church this morning with our 6 year old daughter, Alivia E'Lise, who we had to take to the ER last night because she was having difficulty breathing.
Her chest x-ray came back negative for pneumonia so we were sent home with 3 new prescriptions. It was 1:30am by the time we returned home and so I gave her the meds and quickly tucked her in. I failed to read (until today) the bold letters on one of the bottles TAKE WITH FOOD OR MILK. That explains why she awoke feeling nauseous, or as she said, "Mom, I feel cautious". Poor thing...thank God He steered my wheel in the opposite direction of pursuing nursing!

I was thinking about the chest x-ray this morning. Yesterday, for my husband Gene and I, it was one of those days where we looked at each other and wondered if we are really God's gift to each other or some form of punishment. I can't imagine if I had to have a chest x-ray done during one of our arguments that let Gene see my heart. So much ugliness, it's embarrassing to even admit. Unfortunately, God sees all my junk that I think I'm hiding. He sees my chest x-ray & just like the doc did last night prescribes me with some medicine that if I take correctly, will heal my Ugly Heart Disease.

The medicine He prescribes to me is found in His Word. Sometimes, for some unknown reasons, I choose to take a home remedy instead of getting my prescription filled that the Great Physician has ordered for me, so my condition worsens. When I don't guard my heart and I allow negative thoughts to manifest, pretty soon they come out in my speech leaving Gene hurt.

Sometimes I open God's Word to read the prescription God's given me and I pick out the parts that I want to apply to my life. When I don't apply His Word correctly it only causes other problems to arise-just like last night. When I gave Alivia her medicine, I gave her the meds with a glass of water instead of with food or milk. By not taking the time to read all the words on the medicince bottle and administer the med correctly, I missed an important instruction which caused Alivia to suffer negative symptoms. I need to not only read God's Word, I also need to apply His Word to my life correctly.

Well, I need to get to reading so by the time Gene gets home this ugly hearted girl can ask for forgiveness and bless his socks off. I'll begin his blessings with giving him a warm plate of food & nice tall glass of ice water as soon as he walks through the door...

Proverbs 25:21-22
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

Okay, so we may need to take another trip to the ER this afternoon to treat the burn wounds on the top of hubby's head, but oh how I love rewards!!

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Taste and Believe

James 4:14
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Yesterday, Wednesday, December 5, 2007 nine lives ended at a shopping mall only 45 minutes away from where we live. Eight of the people killed were either innocent shoppers or employees ranging from ages 24 to 66. The ninth in the body count was the 19 year old gunman.

Wow. Eight innocent lives taken from loved ones in literally a heart beat. Gone forever. No time to make a last phone call, no time to ask for forgiveness for a wrong they might have done. No time to tell someone they love them just one more time. No time left. No heart beat left. No breath left. Not one of those people woke up yesterday morning knowing they'd meet death before the sun set and yet before rush hour their bodies were lifeless.

Made me think about being ready & prepared to meet Jesus. Made me think of sharing about Jesus so others will be prepared too. Those 8 lives standing in customer service-did they know about Jesus? Had they accepted Him into their lives? Did anyone even ever share with them about the life-changing relationship they could have with Jesus Christ?

I'm an independent consultant for BeautiControl & one thing my Director encourages us to do is tell at least 3 people a day about BeautiControl. Three people a day that I'm supposed to have the boldness to share with them about the products I believe would be good for them. I'm supposed to "look" for opportunities to share BeautiControl with them. What if I took that same approach with Jesus? What if I looked for opportunities to share my faith? What if 3 people a day went home different because I had the boldness to tell them about what I believe in and know would be good for them?

As believers, it's not our role to save a person-only Jesus can do that, but it is our responsibility to share with others about Jesus Christ. Webster's dictionary says that responsibility is: having important duties.
We have an important duty to share with others the gift of eternal life that God offers, for as James reminds us, we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. May just be that God's Palm Pilot doesn't match up with ours so we must be prepared. I hope that all 8 of those victims knew Jesus. I hope that what the enemy means for evil, God's glory will shine bright. On the news this morning they announced a prayer vigil that was scheduled for this afternoon and I thought, how awesome...someone was bold enough to the midst of this storm we need God.

I just had to share what's on my heart. Here in Nebraska, The Good Life, as our state sign claims, we read about these tragedies, we see them on CNN, but we don't actually live them out, not until yesterday, December 5th. To close too home for this mom of two mall shopping teens. To close to home for this believer who has unbelieving friends and family members.

The other night I was putting the ketchup back in the fridge and I noticed on the top of the bottle there was a label that read, "Taste and Believe". Thought of Jesus...
Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lord, I want to change, but let's start tomorrow!

Sunday our youth pastor, Isaac Stokes spoke on what he titled, "God's Secret Weight Room". He showed a clip from the movie Evan Almighty of Morgan Freeman who played God & Lauren Graham who played Evan's wife in a cafe. Evan's wife had prayed that their family would become closer. Morgan Freeman, as God, appears as a waiter and asks her if everything is okay. She gave him a short answer not knowing who he really was. Without mentioning her specific prayer for her family to become closer he answered...
"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?"

This morning I decided I'm going to go through Proverbs 31:10-31 verse by verse, dissect each verse and then try to apply what it says. This passage in the NIV Bible is titled: The Wife of Noble Character. Okay, so in our years of marriage I decide I'm going to try to become what Gene has never had. I had a great prayer time with God asking Him to show me how to become a wife of noble character. I had even looked up the word "noble" in the Webster's dictionary to find: outstanding character. Feeling excited about my new goal as a wife who just wants to be in God's will, I turn off my desk lamp and get up to go get ready for work.

Well, my sweetie, who was upstairs resting because of the bad back causing him to miss work while he endures physical therapy, had decided to do a load of laundry. The night before when our son washed a load the washing machine flooded the basement bathroom. Gene thought he had fixed the problem, but was going to check by running a load. Next to the running test load, he put a pile of dirty clothes on the floor.

As I'm heading upstairs, I notice that the pile of once only dirty clothes is now a pile of dirty wet clothes. I start yelling his name "Geeeeene!!!!" Now WHY would he put those clothes on the floor knowing the chance of a flood was pretty high? Our sewage pump had gone out Saturday and we put the new one in ourselves (big mistake), so it was the sewage pump water that was soaking my favorite PJ's!!

Getting no response from him, I go marching, well okay, stomping up the stairs & into our bedroom to let him know of the mess that was waiting for him. Not so happy with my handyman, I ignore his moans of pain as he struggles his way out of bed while I begin to get ready for work.

That's when God asked me, "So,what part of that was noble Lelia?"
"Lord," I argued, "it was sewage water!"
As my head dropped, I apologized to God and asked His forgiveness for failing to apply what I had just asked Him for. Now how is that I can meet a test that quickly? I know, maybe the prayer hadn't reached God's ears yet so He didn't know that I wanted to be a wife with outstanding character! Sure, He knew by the time Gene had hobbled downstairs, but He didn't know in time to help me guard my mouth and tongue like He tells me to.
Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

So I need to apologize to my man tonight when he gets home from work because I only apologized to God. Now if when I pull in the driveway this afternoon and see my hubby sitting on the corner of our roof I'll know for sure that at least one of us is listening to God's instruction He gives us in Proverbs.

Proverbs 21:9
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

~Many Blessings~

Friday, November 30, 2007

Targeted Confidence

Six years ago I was on the phone talking with my dear friend Sheryl as she was multi-tasking. While chatting & doing the dishes, she was also looking out the window keeping an eye on her 3 year old son John playing in their backyard. Suddenly he came into the house & it was clear he was on a mission as he began looking for something. She asked him what he was looking for & with a matter of fact tone of voice answered her with one word, "screwdriver". Minutes later, mission accomplished, he headed back outside with his dad's screwdriver in his hand.

While laughing, Sheryl described to me her toddler's level of confidence. John had come into their house with so much confidence & walked out with even more because he felt fully equipped to solve his problem. Her son is almost 9 years now & this story often comes to my mind. This week I began to ask God what He was trying to teach me through this story. The other night He laid it out clearly on my heart.

At 3 years old when it came to fixing something, John didn't know much, but I love seeing what he did know. At some point John had seen his dad, Melvin, use a screwdriver on something.
I'm sure Melvin didn't explain to his knee-high helper the difference between the tips of the screwdrivers. But at some point Melvin's shadow had seen his daddy use a screwdriver.

The day John came into the house looking for his dad's tool, all of his confidence was not in himself, but was in his father. He knew if he could just imitate Melvin his problem would be solved. Through this story, God showed me that it is a necessity to place our confidence in our Father.

Last year, along with some women in my church I read the book, "The Confident Woman" by Joyce Meyer which in it says, " When we have confidence in God, we can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence in Him, even simple accomplishments are beyond our grasp."

I can't recall if John solved his problem or not with his dad's tool, but I do know that 6 years later I have been reminded of WHO I need to place my confidence in and thankfully, it's not me, but instead it's my Heavenly Father.

My friends' little guy watched his father & then believed that because of the confidence he placed in his daddy, he too had the strength to fix what was broken.

Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More than just a name...

Awhile ago, I received a forwarded e-mail about responses a group of professionals received from kids (ages 4-8) when asked the question "What is love?” One response really stuck with me from 4 year old Billy. His answer was "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

That really made me think about how I say Jesus' name. Does my Heavenly Father know that I'm not going to use His name in vain, but instead say it with much reverence? Do I say it different since I invited Him into my life or is it just another word? Since I'm aware of what He's done for me on the cross, do I say His name with any gratitude? Can anyone tell that I love Jesus by how I speak His name? When my voice falls upon His ears as I call on His name, what does He hear?
I say His name a lot. When I feel fear creeping into my thoughts in the middle of the night it's His name I call upon. When I feel like I'm failing as a wife & mom it's His name that I cry out to for guidance. Before my eyes open in the morning it's His name that I whisper into my pillow. When I feel overwhelmed by His sacrifice it's His name that I thankfully worship. When I mess up it's His name that say when I ask for forgiveness. It's more than just a name to me.
The name Jesus is the name of my Hero and I want my Savior to know that His name is safe in my mouth.

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
~Billy, age 4~

1 Thessalonians 1:12b
If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you…

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trust in the Lord...

For the last few weeks our 1st grader, Alivia, has had a very loose tooth. My husband's philosophy is to let it fall out on its own and mine is to yank it out at the first wiggle. As I pressured Alivia daily about letting me help her pull it out, she politely informed me that she doesn't pull her teeth until they are "extremely wiggly".

Obviously being more experienced in this area compared to a 6 year old that has only lost 2 bottom teeth, I politely informed her that the tooth was ready since she could move it around with her tongue. I was on call 24/7 just hoping she'd change her mind, but her answer remained "not yet".

Then one day, she said she was ready to have it pulled, BUT not by me or her. Only by her former kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson. See, according to Alivia, Mrs. Johnson is the "best tooth puller in the world". I let her make the call & we went right over there. Mrs. Johnson was thrilled she had called & got right down to business. After a quick wiggle assessment, Mrs. J. took a napkin & within seconds Alivia had her long awaited top row gap in her mouth.

I loved the trust she had in her teacher. Last year as a student of Mrs. Johnson's, Alivia witnessed many friends arrive at 9am with a wiggly tooth & leave at 3:30pm knowing the tooth fairy would be leaving coins under their pillow in a few hours. While she left with all teeth intact , she watched classmate after classmate carry their loose tooth home in a plastic treasure chest box.

What she saw was trust. She saw her friends trust Mrs. Johnson. She had never seen me pull a tooth so I had no credibility, but she had seen enough classmates bravely stand open mouthed in front of Mrs. J. to earn her the title of the "world's best tooth puller". This woman not only taught them how to read & write the word tooth, but she could pull one too.

I can't help but think when I have a problem arise in my life how I handle it. Do I immediately try to fix it on my own--eat apples, tie a string around it & yank or do I go to the World's Best Tooth Puller with my problem & trust Him enough to handle it? Do those around me see me go right to Jesus with everything in my life simply because I trust Him?

I know there's many times I try to fix things on my own. It's a daily struggle to surrender any control I think I might have to God, but when I do He seems to pull my tooth out & make room for the next one. Like Alivia did with her tooth, I sometimes tend to wait until my problem becomes "extremely wiggly" before I go to Him. When I feel that first wiggle, encounter that 1st sign of a problem, I need to just run to Him. I need to trust in Him because of what I've seen Him do in others lives. I need to trust Him with all of my junk because of what I've read about Him in the Bible. I need to trust more.

Thank You Lord for taking a wiggly tooth to show me how I need to increase the trust I have in You.

Luke 18:27
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Many Blessings,