Friday, November 28, 2008

You can't do that!

Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!
Thanks for sharing your most embarrassing moments with me in the last post and letting me know I'm not alone.
My Alivia drew a name out of her jeweled hat and the winner of Andrea's book is...
Congrats Girlfriend! E-mail me your home address so I can forward it to Andrea and you can get your book and head to Miracle, Kentucky.

Last week for 3 nights our son Aaron went through high school basketball try-outs. So much different than the Jr. high ball he was used to playing. I'll never forget at the beginning of the school year when he came home and said, "Mom! I just found out that there will be basketball practice every day!" Welcome to the land of no recess and no more optional basketball practices followed by a Saturday morning game with donuts served.

Wednesday night, the final night of try-outs my teenagers decided jointly to let me believe that Aaron got cut from the team. When they saw the tears glistening in my eyes is when one would think they would 'fess up and tell me the truth. No, not my twisted teens, they let it drag out until finally Aaron told me that he made it. After punching him in the arm, I congratulated him then drove him to youth group. When we got there we sat in the car talking while Aaron finished his dinner. That's when he told me that he is going to tell his basketball coach that on Wednesday's he will need to leave practice early so that he can go to youth group.

I strongly profess Jesus in my life on my blog, so any reader would think that this Mom would burst out into uncontrollable praise that her son is choosing to make Jesus his priority.
But sadly, I didn't.
Instead, a fear rose up in my chest and I tried talking him out of it.
"You can't do that Aaron. You can't just tell your coaches what you're going to do. You have a commitment to this team and you need to keep it."
Away from the comfort of a keyboard this Mom was clearly not choosing to walk her talk.
His response to my prediction of him sitting for taking a stand was "Oh well".

Was I really saying this? Here my son has made some major changes in his life toward the One who died on the Cross. Changes I've been praying for and here was his "godly" Mother telling him that he can't be different.
He can't take a stand for Jesus. Not at a public school. These men won't understand and he'll be benched during a game for missing part of practice.

As I type this I want to erase it all and just share with you the joy of him earning a spot on the team, but a few weeks ago I shared the same message about Alivia keeping Jesus quiet.

Driving off from leaving him at youth group I had to ask myself...what do I really believe?
Do I want Jesus as my #1 priority or do I just want Him when I feel He will fit into my lifestyle?
Do I want my kids to see me seeking God, or just hear me talk about it?

When the going gets tough will I choose Jesus or easy?

Reading this ugly reality about myself really bothers me.

Needless to say I was strongly convicted of what I had just encouraged my son not to do that I could hardly wait for him to get in the car when I picked him up. I apologized and told him that he has my full support and that I will be praying for him. I told him that God will bless him beyond what he can handle and to go for it. "Thanks, Mom".

I think my quick conviction had a lot to do with coming off an incredible study we just finished here recently of Lisa Whittle's book, "Behind Those Eyes". I had just spent 9 weeks learning how to be an authentic woman of God and here I was trying to squash my son's suggestion to step out in a public school and take a stand for Christ. The fire in his heart to put Jesus first above his passion of basketball put out by who else but his own Mom.

So I have asked God to bless this sweet son of mine.
I will learn from a 14 year old trying to draw near to the God.
I will take God at His Word that all things are possible with Him.
I have no doubt that God will honor Aaron for this.
If Aaron has to "ride the pine" as my husband Gene calls sitting on the bench instead of playing on the court because he misses some of Wednesday's practice, may God be glorified.

Lord, may You be glorified with this child's life.
You have instilled the gift of leadership in him.
May a curiosity rise up in his unsaved friends to find out what life is like after kneeling at the foot of the Cross from watching Aaron's example.
You are worth all of this Lord. You are.
Please help me to live out what I know and be an encouragment to my kids desire for You.
May I stop saying I want to live for you and just do it.

This Thanksgiving...

I am thankful that God has used my 14 year old to stir up my heart for Him.

Thank You Jesus.

This summer at the She Speaks conference, I met Heather from the Swallowing a Moose blog. She e-mailed me telling me about a blog she started specifically targeting God's goodness this Thanksgiving called Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving '08. Above is my contribution to it and if you want to join us click here to link your blog post under Mr. Linky. It is awesome to read the many testimonies of how great our God is and you can post it on Heather's blog anytime.

Thank you Heather for hosting this~you are a blessing to many...on a day you should have lost your life in that car accident, God stepped in and saved a life so worth saving.
Love to you Girl!

~Many Blessings~

*The next YES to GOD Tuesday on line Bible study begins: January 6, 2009.
Click here for more details.
Hope you'll join us for an exciting adventure with God!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Don't Heart Text Messaging

Saturday night my husband met some buddies at a sports bar & grill to watch, and I quote, "the best college football game of the season" between Texas Tech & Oklahoma. Earlier that day my son and I had gone to the mall and he bought a shirt that he needed to exchange for size. So, as I sat in the car waiting for Aaron to return I decided to mess with my husband a little and distract him from the best college football game of the season.

So, I text him to his cell phone this little message:

I love you babe. The only thing I'm wearing is lotion. Hurry home.

I smiled at the thought of my guy receiving this as I pushed the SEND button when suddenly my smiley face turned to panic as I tried hitting the cancel button.

I had accidentally sent this to my 14 year old Aaron.

Even though my phone said: canceled by user I wasn't sure if I had been quick enough.

I couldn't lean close enough to my window as I spotted Aaron coming out of the store looking at his phone.
I should've just driven off and text him to call a cab, but I stayed put.
He got in the car and nothing was said.
I finally said, "Aaron, did you receive a text message from me?"

Without looking at me he said, "Yes. It was creepy."


What's your "most embarrassing moment"?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pack your bags...we're going to Miracle, Kentucky is my much delayed post about the recent trip I took to Miracle, Kentucky. I had a post about something awesome with my son Aaron the other day and put it in the drafts until later this week to ask for prayer for Carmie. When my Mom called me and asked if I would put up a post to request prayer for her, I told my Mom, "These women...they WILL pray Mom. They are amazing." and pray you did! Thank you for standing in the gap of this sweet precious baby girl. God is bigger than all of this...AMEN? Thank you for being the women of God that you all are. If you haven't read the prayer request just click on the precious baby picture on the top right corner of my blog and it will take you right to the post. Thank you & God bless each one of you. By the Mom was overwhelmed with your responses. Not only is Carmie being lifted up here in the States...some beautiful Aussie women are praying as well as a beautiful sister in Christ in Asia...our God is everywhere and has His eye right on our baby girl. Thank You Jesus.

Okay...recently I went to Miracle, Kentucky to see my friend Meg. Meg had just moved there to live with her Grandma Loretta while she started a new job as a teacher at a nearby school.

While I was there a lot happened.

First I was so grateful that Meg left the situation she was in before moving to Miracle. She was living with her boyfriend Dillon in Chicago who had cheated on her and didn't have a job. So starting fresh in Kentucky was such a great and brave thing for her to do.

Before starting her teaching position though...she met a guy. Well, actually she met his daughter Cammy who she found out was going to be her student. Then she met the dad Vance a few minutes later. If you think country singer Tim McGraw is cute....which I do...when you look at Vance it is like looking at Faith Hill's hubby. So adorable. Anyway, Cammy was in a wheelchair which teaching a child in a wheelchair would be a whole new adventure for Meg.

Did I mention that lots happened during my visit? Lots of drama and many wonderful things went on. Too much that I can't share it all here, so I've decided to send you to Miracle, Kentucky so you can see for yourself how Meg is doing.

Okay, I must be honest...I didn't actually travel anywhere. Omaha which is an hour away is about as far from Lincoln I get these days, but in my mind I took off to Kentucky every night for about a week and a half.

Talented Christian author, Andrea Boeshaar e-mailed me and asked me to review her book, Love Finds You, In Miracle Kentucky. From the day it arrived in my mail box, I am telling you friends...I could not put it down. I am very visual and Andrea gives her readers the best descriptions of each character and place. The way she described Grandma Loretta's house took me to one of my favorite childhood Great Aunt Myla's farm house.

I was reading this book while trying to deal with the fresh news that my teenage daughter is pregnant again and I can't tell you how I looked forward to some "me" time at night. Miracle was quite the escape from Lincoln for me and I found out this town is really on the map.

One night I picked up the book and I was only going to read a little bit of it. Four hours later I closed the book as I had reached the end and wiped my tears. It is such a good read my friends and I just had to share this with you. Let's just say that it is such a good read that even though my bedside lamp is not working, I improvised by putting a flash light on my shoulder pointing right at the book. You know when you go to that trouble you have a great book in your hands.

God is splashed throughout the entire book and I love Andrea's smooth writing style. This book would make a great gift for someone who loves to read or just to add to your own book shelf. It is a must have on every reader's wish list.
So let's have a give away, shall we? To get your own copy of Love Finds You, In Miracle Kentucky by Andrea Boeshaar, then just leave a comment here and on Wednesday night I will have my little assistant Miss Alivia draw a name. I will announce the winner on Thursday. Then it will be mailed to you directly from Andrea herself.

Oh, and guess what? I just visited Andrea's website and you actually have TWO chances to win this by leaving a comment here and another by visiting her website then clicking on the button that says BLOG and leaving a comment for Andrea there before December 15th. Woohoo! Visit Andrea by clicking here and tell her I said hello!
Have a great beginning of your week dear friends!

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 10-the final chapter


So glad you have come by to discuss our last chapter of our current YES to GOD Tuesday study of our dear friend Lisa Whittle's book, Behind Those Eyes.

I wish this book had 52 chapters for every week of the year so we didn't have to stop so soon. If this is your first visit here, I highly recommend this book as well as the other YES to GOD studies we have done. You can find them on my sidebar. They have all been such a blessing to me and many others.

This morning my husband Gene and I went to Omaha to see what the surgeon had to say. 6 weeks ago he had x-ray's done and the doctor told him that the bottom things were not fused together yet and told him to do nothing but lie in bed. He also had to wear this $5,000.00 bone stimulator belt for 4 hours every day.

Today Gene had a CT done and guess what girls...HE IS FUSED!!! If you're saying what is that? It basically means they put bone into his back and fused the bottom discs together with screws and this other stuff...kind of like cement. We have been waiting for the "cement" to set on that bottom disc which has caused him a great deal of pain. Today was such a good day for him. This past Sunday some men in our church prayed over Gene and that came to mind when the doc said, "I don't know if we should give credit to the stimulator belt or what, but you are fused." Ummm...Jesus is who we're giving credit to!!! Gene has been released to return to work and we don't return to the surgeon until February. We are so excited and we thank you so much for your prayers. You all are so awesome!

On the way to Omaha I was reading through the comments from the last post and started bawling when I read Sheena's out loud to my husband. I told my husband that I am just blown away by what God is doing with this study. Who knew, but our Heavenly Father that a young lady from Malaysia named Sheena would be divinely directed to this study of Lisa's book and she would be passing it along to friends and starting her own study. HE IS AMAZING and I am again teary eyed at typing that with this lump in my throat because this is all about HIM. This morning tears would not stop flowing and my husband just kept saying, "God is working on your heart honey, He is working it." I can't begin to express the blessing I feel from what He is doing. When I read Cindy (Consider All Joy) post from chapter 8 I just lost it. When I read Lea's (Shabby Old Potting Shed) e-mail about doing the next study with us out of obedience to God, the tears just came again.

WHAT is He doing? All I know is that I have lived that life of following my own lead and leaving God out of the picture and I don't want to return to that emptiness. This. This is so much better!!! God is good ladies. He is and He loves each one of us.

Okay...I've stalled getting to this last chapter long enough, let's get to it.


Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Women, the truth does hurt: we are flawed...we are selfish...we are unlovely...and we are unworthy of the love of almighty God. But fortunately for us, that is not the end of the story. There is more truth we should know. The truth is also that we are loved...we are accepted...we are wanted...we are important to God...and we are His beautiful creations.

When I look at all the things I have done in my life, up to recently I can't help but think, God, how? How can You love this? How can You forgive this? How could You want to use someone like this? But can He not? When we decide to follow Him and allow Him to use the messes of our lives that is when His glory outshines any darkness in our lives. When I look at my Prodigal daughter Alyssa...I don't see the bad choices, I just love her and I imagine it is that way with our Father in Heaven...He sees what He has created in the middle of our messes and yet still pats Himself on the back and says well done.

Lisa shows us how to be real women and not impersonators any longer by sharing three very basic truths based solidly on the Word of God.

~God created us and He does not make mistakes. The genius master inventor, Jesus Christ, came up with the concept of you...and me...and everyone else in the entire universe, starting with Adam in the garden! Phenomenal!

~God created you with a free will to choose your behavior and mess up your life.
I loved how Lisa tells us how God does want us to live fulfilling lives, but at the same time our choices will not go without being dealt with. If Gene and I didn't love our kids we would let them do whatever they wanted to and just shrug our shoulders when caught, but we don't. There are consequences that follow every bad choice they make.
We are encouraged by this godly author to take responsibility for our choices and seek God first in our lives. That is, if we want to be women that are
genuine...authentic...real...and without pretense.

God created us to discern and discover who we are and where we function most effectively, without trying to be someone else.

I loved Lisa's Subway story and how we are all different down to our taste buds. Lisa made such a good point of telling us to praise God for even our flaws. I believe that it's time for us to stop wasting our time trying to be the girl to our right instead of being the best me all of us can be for the glory of God.
Lisa then shared about the first time she felt "used" by someone and it felt good. After speaking to a group of women she said for the first time she felt empty of herself, but so full of God she could hardly breathe. THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
This morning on the way to Omaha I tell you, I could not stop the tears. I just kept telling my husband, I can't believe He wants to use me to play hostess for these YES to GOD Tuesday studies. I of all people, am so unworthy and God knows this.

There is so much more to this chapter, but I don't want to share it all as we can read others insights on their own blogs. I will close this book with a quote from our Lisa...
Accept the truths found in God's Word about who you are: completely flawed yet forgiven completely; an awesome spirit being, truly loved and accepted by God.

I have so enjoyed getting to know you all through each chapter in this book. You have made me laugh, cry and shout praises to our King. It would be easy for me to focus on my flaws which are many and justify why I should shut this blog down and do my own thing, but what I would be missing out on is so much. All of you have been worth the struggle of unworthiness that I deal with. When I read your thoughts on each chapter it's such a peek into your heart for God and it is so special. I know for sure that I am not the same woman back in September when we began this journey together. Thank God for that.

Thank you all for joining me and sticking with it...whether you blogged on it or silently are such a blessing. Mari...thank you for posting through your health pains. Jill...I am so sorry about your Grandma that you just lost. So many going through so much.

God is using each one of you, don't ever believe the lies the enemy tries to feed you. Instead, run to God's Word to find out what your very own Creator thinks of you. For your King, as the psalmist tells us, is enthralled with your beauty! I love you!

Lisagirl...God must smile down upon you daily as you step out to seek Him flaws and all. I love how God has brought us together in such a unique way. We haven't done lunch or gone shopping together, but I know we have become girlfriends for life. When I met you at She Speaks this past summer it was like we had been childhood friends and picked up where we left off. You my dear friend are easy to love. Thank you for this book, it has changed my life and I am just not saying that. God knew I needed this study and He used you in a huge way to change my thought life in only 9 short weeks. I feel I have become more "real". More honest. More authentic. You my friend have forever blessed me. I look forward to reading more of your work that God assigns you too and know that this blog study can always be a venue for your books. I trust whatever you share. I love you Girl and someday I'll hope God gives me an accent just like yours! xoxo

Okay...I posted here about what our next YES to GOD study is going to be, but if you have signed up for it, after much thought and asking Paula(Sweet Pea)'s opinion I am changing the start date from December to January. With Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations right around the corner I need to take a little study break and so the next YES to GOD study will begin on the 1st Tuesday of 2009! So mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 6, 2009. I hope you can join us. Click here to see what book it is and continue to be women that say yes to this wonderful God we serve! It's going to be a good one, I can tell already!

If you have something to share on your study about this chapter or what God has done in your life from this book then sign up below. If you don't have a blog you can e-mail me or leave a comment.

Thanks again for your coveted prayers for my family. I wish we could have a big YES to GOD party and just celebrate God! Someday....

~Many Blessings~

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Advanced Praise

I was going to try to get to a computer yesterday, but just wasn't able to. I wanted to share about a recent trip I took to Miracle, Kentucky. Isn't that just the coolest name for a town? I even have a cool give away for you. I am postponing that post until Thursday because I really feel I need to share something else with you today.

Right now my husband and I are facing a lot. His back surgery he had done in April is not completely healed which causes him a lot of pain. This Tuesday we see the surgeon who after reading a CT he'll have done that morning will either release Gene back to work full duty, or the doc will tell us what needs to happen next. I don't see the release happening, but we all know we serve a God that can heal the broken if that is His will no matter what any doctor says. Pfizer has informed him that if he can not return to work for full duty that his job "will go back on the market". Guess they don't want to sound like Donald Trump and just tell him "you're fired".

This past Friday we received his last check from Pfizer until April because of having to switch from short to long term disability. This is all correct since there has to be 180 days between the last short term claim to the first long term one. Crazy, I know. If Gene would have filled out his paperwork earlier, we might have not had such a long lapse, but it was not explained to him that it would take a few months to kick in and at that time he was feeling good and optimistic and didn't think he'd need it. His back thought differently and so I've had to return to my night job of doing home health care. It was such a blessing though when I called this company a few weeks ago to see if they were hiring and I was hired back immediately. I still had to formerly go through an interview, but when I explained our situation of loss of income they pushed me through everything and I have already taken care of clients. I get to set my own hours and so far I've only done overnight visits, but God has really blessed me with some easy shifts so I'm not completely worn out the next day.

So, poor Gene is not only feeling the pain in his back, but the guilt of watching his wife work two jobs. Four months of no pay...that's a lot, but I just keep reminding myself that God, not Pfizer is in control here.

Here's one of the many things I love about God the midst of facing the unknown of a job, finances and Gene's health...God provides a breakthrough that only He is capable of doing.

For many years we battled our oldest daughter on the music she chose to listen to and then since Jr. high we fought the same battle with our son. I'd do a random room check and find Cd's burned off that had rap music that would just make your ears fall of. The lyrics were so bad they would make the Parental Advisory sticker slapped on the CD cover shrivel up.
Then last week I noticed a picture of a secular rapper on Aaron's phone. I watched only a minute of this guy perform on TV as his pants were falling off, but because he holds onto his private area his pants stay just below his underwear. Not sure what is worse...boxers showing or him holding himself. Both are just gross. Anyway, this guy has the words 'FEAR GOD' tattooed on his eye lids. I'm not judging him, but I told Aaron his lyrics and eyelids really don't match up. Aaron defended this guy he doesn't even know and wouldn't listen to me, so I suggested he ask Justin, his youth group leader about him. "I'm not asking Justin, Mom."

Well, he did and Justin told him nothing but the truth. Just like I did, but somehow it sounds different coming out of a cool guys mouth instead of an old mom's mouth.

When Aaron got into the car on Wednesday with Christian rap Cd's Justin gave him, Aaron announced..."I asked Justin about Lil' Wayne and I've decided that I'm not going to listen to rap anymore. Bad rap."
Really? I asked...
"Yeah. What Justin said made sense."
What did he say? I asked.
"He said what goes in comes out."
Tears filling this Mommas eyes I just nodded and said, "That is so cool Aaron."

Even though this was the same message his Dad and I have been telling him for 4 years now, he heard it for the first time Wednesday night.

In the midst of crazy God just shows off where you least expect Him to. He knew that Gene and I needed this encouragement at this moment. I love that about Him. His timing is always so Holy.

Last night I attended a memorial service for a 19 year old who died last Wednesday from trying to get high from spraying something in a bag and inhaling it. Horribly sad. When I told his mom how beautiful she looked in this blue blouse she was wearing she shared this with me...
"Last month Jake and I were out of town and he was trying to get me to buy this shirt. He said I dress like an old lady and that I needed his help. I told him no on the blouse because it was too expensive. Well, after he died I decided to visit the Banana Republic to see if they had it. They had it. Only one. My size. On the clearance rack. $30.00 cheaper. I love when God does stuff like that. Jake would just be thrilled."

In the midst of Sandy's pain, God showed Himself to her at the clearance rack of Banana Republic. Wow...

I have no idea what trials you are facing on this day, but God, our all knowing Savior does.

IF Gene and I keep focused on God...what will He do?
IF Nathan and Sandy keep focused on God while trying to understand the loss of their only son...what will He do?

It makes me cry right now as I am typing because even though my heart aches for my husband and tries to show grace to my teenage daughter who is pregnant again...I can't comprehend why God is paying attention to someone like me. Why at this moment would He choose a breakthrough in my son? Why? Because He can. Because He knew it would revive me and make me more determined to put on His full armour before I begin my day. He knew it would make me chase harder after the God who could easily look the other way, but instead chooses to tap into my heart with Morse Code that only He knows.

He pays attention to us. To you. He delights in catching us off guard and then hangs on our every praise. The thing is He doesn't need us to praise Him, but He desires us to do so because we want to. A song my son has as a ring tone on his cell phone is Marvin Sapp's Praise You in Advance.

Whatever news the doctor or Pfizer gives us on Tuesday we choose to praise You in advance Lord.

You are worthy
You are awesome
You are my Provider
You are my Savior
You are worth every trial
You are bigger than what we face
You are our focus
You are the same God yesterday, today and Tuesday
You are I AM.

I hope that no matter what you are facing in your life that God will show Himself off to you in a way that will just not only take your breath away, but take you to your knees in praise.

Ladies..He is worth it all. Whether it's a loss of something simple like a job or something so permanently painful like the loss of a child, He is worth it. Know that right now to Him you matter. At this moment, He is watching you and capturing every tear you shed and when you need it most, He will catch you off guard and let You know...

I see you and I love you.

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Words of Power

Last Saturday while at my parents home, our son Aaron overheard an inappropriate conversation between my 7 year old daughter Alivia and my 8 year soon to be sister, Alicia. They sweetly addressed each with a not-so-nice name, unaware of what the word means.When I asked Alivia what the word means and where she had learned it, she just shrugged her 7 year old shoulders and said, "I don't know, but Grandma told us never to say it again." Obviously my Mother couldn't bring herself to do any explainin' either so, now Alivia thinks if she kisses a boy she'll get pregnant and she is clueless to why calling her friends this is not a good thing. NONE of how to handle this exact stuff is in the B. I. B. LE people!!!!

Now on a serious note, what if Alivia had learned this name from me? What if it was I called myself names that God would never use to describe me? Sometimes we say those kinds of things in our heads but would never think about allowing our self talk to escape out of our mouth. We definitely can be our worst critics and very hard on ourselves. I heard Beth Moore once say, "When people write to me and criticize one thing, I want to tell them...the only thing you've done is gotten me started because I could add ten things to your one."

Let me give you a sample of the conversations I sometimes have with myself...

I've arrived late somewhere again...Can't you ever be on time? You are so ridiculous and rude. For once Lelia get somewhere on time! You are such a loser!

Two days after vowing to never let the house get messy and it's a mess...You can't even manage your home right Lea! Look around you. You are so disorganized. Your Mom's house is always clean. Grow up!

I ate too much of nothing are so fat, you're just gross.

When my walk doesn't match my talk...You are such a fraud. Who do you think you are getting on your blog and talking about Jesus; just look at how you treat your family.

The words we speak to ourselves are so important. Filling our minds with what God thinks of us is so life changing. That's why I want Alivia and Alicia to be saying things that God says to and about them instead of something the enemy wants them to believe and become.

This brings me to introducing our next YES to GOD Tuesday blog study book. It is exactly what this heart needs and I pray if it's for you too that you will join me on our next adventure with God to begin on Tuesday, January 6, 2009!

Please join me in reading and discussing...

Author Jennifer Rothschild, has a message for every woman:

Words are powerful. Especially the words women speak to themselves. All too often, what they say to themselves when they lie in bed at night or look in the mirror in the morning is not even close to the words God wants them to speak to their souls.

Scripture has a lot to say about this “soul talk.” Because many women feel overwhelmed and struggle with issues of self–esteem, depression, and discouragement, Jennifer shares practically and helpfully from her own life and from Scripture to show how every woman can turn her words—and her life—around for good.

I'm excited to continue on this path that God has us on. This is a no pressure study and I try to be a very laid back hostess. There will always be women that join and for whatever reason have to back out. I loved a recent post I read from Christy of Between Here and Home who participated in the beginning chapters of Behind Those Eyes study, but then had to stop. She is now doing Beth Moore's study: "John - 90 Days With The Beloved Disciple" and this is what she said: Today, once again, God met me where I was. I said earlier that I began this book, while at the same time knowing God had made it clear to me to let a lot of my reading material go to the wayside for now. This one I was to keep.

I truly loved that Christy's obedience to God was more important to her than continuing the YES to GOD Tuesday study with us at this time.

That is what this journey is all about...learning to walk in faith, say yes to God even if it means changing studies and learning how to be real women of God. Tuesday's are not about Lelia and what I have to say, but rather learning how to deepen our relationship with the One that truly matters.

So, if you are looking for a stress free place to join together with ladies around the globe, then please join us here on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 for the 4th YES to GOD blog study of

Jennifer Rothschild's Self Talk, Soul Talk.

The more the merrier, so invite a friend to join us. Remember you do not need a blog to participate and if you are a blogger just because you sign up to do the study does not mean you have to blog about it. There are many silent participants as well as weekly bloggers such as Anita who weekly shared very insightful comments with us and she doesn't have a blog.

All are welcome to do this study..blogger or not.

Sign up below if you think you will be joining us and get your book!

If you have never participated in a YES to GOD Tuesday study before, click here to find out more details. You can also email me at

Join me on Saturday when I share about an awesome trip I recently took to Miracle, Kentucky. I also have a give away that you won't want to miss out on.

Have a blessed rest of your week my friends.

~Many Blessings~

YES to GOD FAQ'S and answers

YES to GOD study FAQ's:

1. ) What is YES to GOD Tuesday's?

YES to GOD Tuesday's was birthed in my heart from God after I read Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". I longed to do a Bible study in my home, but with my husband having major back surgery and our teen daughter becoming a Mom within the same week Spring of '08, hosting a Bible study in my basement was impossible, so God gave me this idea.
Once a book is decided on then I give the start date then we read a chapter a week and meet here every Tuesday to discuss it. I share what leaped out to me in the chapter and I give you the same opportunity through Mr. Linky at the end of each post.
It is amazing to read different insights on one chapter and I have learned so much and been blessed beyond what I deserve by participating in these studies.

The 1st study we did here was Lysa's book and if you want to read those Tuesday posts you can find then on the sidebar of this blog on the right side all the way at the bottom as well as all the studies.

It was an incredible study and the enthusiasm over what God was showing us women from all over the place was awesome. Collectively, we decided to continue and now God is lining up the studies He wants done.
Women from all over the globe and almost all the states have participated in the studies.
God is simply amazing.

2.) How do I get the book for the next study?
~Sometimes the author has a website store.
~Your local book store or see if they can order it for you.
~On line (Amazon...)
~Sometimes Proverbs 31 Ministries offers the book we are doing.

3.) How many people can join this study?
~as many as God has in mind.
There is no limit of participants, so please invite your friends to join us.

4.) Do I have to have a blog to participate?
NO! You can just read every Tuesday's discussion OR you can leave your words of wisdom by commenting under the anonymous button.

5.) If I have a blog, but I don't know what to say in a comment can I still do it?
Absolutely. You never have to leave a comment or blog about it. You can participate to the level you are comfortable with even if that means just discussing it with only God.

6.) What do I need to do?
Pray. Pray that God shows you what He wants you to learn in this study then meet here every Tuesday. Also pray for each other.

7.) How can I let others know about YES to GOD Tuesdays on my blog?~On my sidebar there is a YES to GOD button that you can right click on and add to your own sidebar. You would go under 'Layout' then add it to the sidebar under 'Add Picture'. If you want to link it to my blog then you'd put my URL in the URL blank That directs them here.

8.) If the study has already started, can I still join?
Yes! Jump in whenever you are ready on line, or just catch up and silently participate.

9.) Do I have to sign up?
No, but it's fun to know where everyone is from and gives the chance for others to visit you if you are a blogger.

10.) Is there a fee to join?
No! Everyone is responsible for getting their own book.
11.) I am a blogger and want to do this, but I can't commit to posting each week.
No problem. This is a laid back study that you join in when you are able. Life will get in the way. There are times I get my post up on Thursday. There has even been a time when I just put up the Mr. Linky so we could read other's thoughts because I didn't get my chapter read. Life happens and I strongly encourage you to put God and family first.
12.) What if I start this study, but have to drop out. Can I join the next one if the book interests me?
Absolutely! Come when you can, drop out when you have to. God and family first above blogging.
13.) I just read a great book, do you ever take recommendations for books to do in the future?
YES! If you have a book that impacted you, please let me know about it and it will be prayerfully considered.
If you have a question that was not here, please e-mail me.

Contact Info:
Lelia Chealey

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 9

It's that time of the week again for
I was so touched by your responses of the last post. Most of you got the message God put on my heart to write about the election. I have never pretended to write from any one's heart but my own or attempted to walk in anyone else's shoes as I trip myself up enough in my own size 9's. I try to view things with my own eyes based on my own experiences with God. I don't even try to pretend to know what my kids experience in their life for I can't imagine being of two different races and dealing with all that comes with that beauty. When I see my kids have worries, my husband and I try to direct them to Christ because their hope must be in God. Role models in the flesh are necessary as God uses many people to shape us, but when it comes down to it Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace MUST be our only focus of hope and we must keep our eyes fixed on Him.

A few weeks ago I shared with you about Justin and what a great influence he has had on my son Aaron, but if I teach Aaron to put all of his hope in Justin then I have failed my son. Justin is a man and sooner or later he will fall, like we all have and do. My responsibility as a woman seeking God is to teach my children to keep their focus on the Almighty One. Period. This is not an idea I have come up with, rather God did...

Hebrews 12:1-3(The Message Bible)
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

As we pray for President Bush whether you like the man or not we must also pray for President-elect Obama and his family, whether he was your choice or not.

May he lean on God to lead him.

Let's get started...



Remember anything in blue is a quote from the book.

We women, as people and as followers of Christ, are completely flawed and yet forgiven completely.

We are flawed and forgiven all at the same time.

We are sinful, down to our very core, and we are sanctified, down to our very soul.

Starting on page 150, Lisa described what I would call a "morning from hell" that I would say if we were to be completely real with one another we have all had these. This morning maybe. But I loved what God showed Lisa through it...We are what I call perfectly imperfect. In other words, we were each born with a sin nature that often controls us and leads us to do things that go against what we really want to do.

One of the passages of Scripture that I can unfortunately relate to is the one that Lisa has in this chapter, Romans 7:15-18. Paul of all people could pen this with much passion. Our sin nature nudges us into doing things we crawl into bed at night and think...what just happened? If not careful we will find ourselves living a life that gives Beth Moore the material to write the study, "Why godly people do ungodly things".

If we do not allow ourselves to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, our sin nature takes over. And that's when things get really messy.

Lord knows I know this too well, but thank God my Redeemer lives and He tells me that I don't have to live a life controlled by my sin nature. He tells me that all things are possible with Him. He tells me that He will never give me more than I can handle. He tells me that He will use my past for His glory. So much different than the lies Satan tries to spoon feed me.

Being flawed is not the end of the story...we are not victims to our nature. The most beautiful part of this equation is how that flaw gives us the ability to be better. For if there were no flaw, there would be no reason for forgiveness. And then we wouldn't get to see the awesome power of God miraculously at work in our lives.

This reminds me of my sister's dog, Babe. When my sister moved out she left Babe behind at my parents' home. Mom and Dad's old house was on a corner of two very busy streets. Escaping from the confinement of the backyard was very costly to Babe as she was hit by a car. Michelle just happened to come over when the accident happened and scooped her up and took her to the vet. The advice given to Michelle was to put Babe down. Michelle sought a second opinion and today Babe trots around happily on 3 legs.

Babe was either going to be flawed or dead. If she was just flawed it meant she had more life to live. If Michelle would have agreed with the first animal doctor, Babe would be a memory.

Can't you just see this in our own lives? We mess up...we feel the shame and the enemy tells us that we are unusable and our life is over. He wants to just put us down and we believe the lies he feeds us instead of seeking God's opinion and listen to what He says about are flawed child, but you are forgiven. Let me use your imperfections for my glory.

It is solely by the grace of God we can be forgiven.

While Satan would love for you to believe that you are too flawed and too unworthy of forgiveness, Jesus wants you to know that nothing could be farther from the truth.

...the flaws suddenly felt really important to the process.
Amen Lisagirl...amen!

When we begin to serve God and our past is used to glorify Him rather than shame us, that is when we get it. All of us who are flawed and forgiven if we ask for His forgiveness are so usable to Him.

Please sign up under Mr. Linky if you have more about this chapter to share on your own blog.

Next week...Chapter 10...The Truth Heals.
This will wrap up this book study and I can't wait to hear what God has done in your life between chapters 1 and 10.

Check back on Thursday to see what book we are doing for our next YES to GOD Tuesday study and when it will start.

You know I love you.
~Many Blessings~

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope and Freedom

Tuesday night my little girl Alivia was tucked in bed and was supposed to be asleep, but was trying her hardest to hear the results of the election coming from the television. She would occasionally yell out, "what's the score?" referring to the number of electoral votes each candidate had.

My friend Lisa Whittle wrote the most touching post I've read about the election night and I wish I would've read it before Tuesday night as I sat on my couch biting off my nails. Click here to read it. Please read it, for it will really touch your heart.

As many of you know I am a white woman married to a man of color. A black man as he calls himself or as many call him an African American.
To me, I am simply married to my Gene.

One thing we kept hearing on television the night of and the morning after the election from many people that have the same skin color as my family does was how history has changed. I watched Sherry Shepard on The View, which I never watch but did yesterday morning cry as she said how her son now "has no limitations".

This is MY opinion as a mother of 3 children that are bi-racial but in the worlds eyes are African American or as their Daddy says, his black babies.

Unlike Sherry's child, my son never had limitations before Tuesday, November 4th.
Because God said Aaron doesn't.
According to Philippians 4:13 Aaron can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens him.

Obama as President does not open the doors of Aaron's future that ONLY God can open. Having a man with the same skin color as my son has in the highest office in the US of A does not mean that NOW Aaron can be whatever he wants to be. No, the job Obama holds does not make God's plans that he has for my children any different than they were before the 4th of November. The only limitation that will be put on my children and will hold them back from being all that God wants them to be will be their choice to not cooperate with their Heavenly Father in living out His plans for their lives.

If my son, daughters or granddaughter looks to anyone for hope for their future I want it to be Jesus Christ. Yes, history books have a new chapter. We have lived the day to see the first African American President, but Oprah is wrong in the statement she wore on her t-shirt yesterday of HOPE WON. Oprah honey, Hope didn't win on November 4th because of the vote you publicly cast. HOPE won on Calvary. HOPE won 3 days later when the tomb was empty. HOPE wins each time someone kneels and invites Jesus into their lives. HOPE is not our new President...the real and only HOPE every person in this world has is Jesus Christ. Period.

My kids that tan easier than I do, my kids who have hair I don't know how to manage, my kids who embrace both their black and white kids have hope for their future and have no limitations because they are children of God.

I want my kids to look to God as their door-opener, hope-giver and according to His will no limitations-giver. One who believes that all life is important while still in the womb. The Only One who knows what truly is best for my children and the land they live in.

We've also heard a lot of people say that November 4th is the "first day they felt freedom".
How sad to base one's freedom of who moves into the White House in January.
Anyone who has ever invited Christ to take over their life knows real freedom is granted the day the Holy Spirit takes up residence within you. The day that Jesus Christ moves into the Oval office of your heart.
That my friend is real freedom.

Christ...the real Hope and the real Freedom-giver.

May God bless America,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 8

Welcome to...

FYI: If you take a cute and chunky Piglet out in public (see previous post) then you will get lots of miniature Snickers and Twix bars thrown your way.

FYI: If you eat all the mini Snickers and Twix bars thrown your way then you will get ill and gain 10 pounds.

FYI: Lots of mini Snickers and Twix bars adds up to lots of King size candy bars.

FYI: Using children to get candy is bad. Very bad.

Okay...whether you acknowledge Halloween or not, I hope you had a great weekend and if you love candy, come to my house. I know where Aaron hid his pillow case full of sugar. Yes, my 14 year old still goes door to door and when scolded by the elderly for doing so he crosses his finger and politely says, "But sir, I'm a 6 foot 5th grader with size 14 shoes. It's in my genes to be this tall". He claims he then gets more because they think he's a freak.

I'm afraid to admit that free chocolate from strangers brings out the worst in all members of my family. Stranger Danger is completely forgotten on this night.

Okay...let's begin. Hard to believe we are almost finished with this incredible journey; however, I have a feeling it's just beginning.



Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

This chapter was so good and I loved the Bible study too.

I am going to steal Lisa's friends quote that she tells Lisa upon occasion: You are an awesome spirit being truly loved and accepted by God.

Wow. Just think about that. No matter what we've done, where we've been...our God loves us. Is crazy about us. And notices us. Wow.

These are a few of Lisa's words that really hit me in the gut:

We are programmed by the worlds' view of love which has great limitations.

What we thought would bring us love has let us down and we are tired of searching.

God's love is without pretense, without conditions and without limits. His love feels good the night before, the morning after, and every time in between. It is like water to a thirsty soul, food to a hungry heart, and freedom to a confined prisoner.

We are irresistibly desired by God.

I also loved the story from the Bible Lisa shared about the woman at the well...All Jesus wanted to do was give her the gift of love she hadn't been able to find in anything or anyone else. And like so many of us she had certainly tried.

The last few weeks my teenage daughter has been spending a lot of time at our home. She has even spent the night a total of 4 times now. Something so sweet about standing over your Prodigal Daughter as she gets rest in your home. Last night when she left to go home I knew she didn't feel well, but I had gotten on her case about some stuff anyway.

One thirty in the morning my phone rang. It was her asking me to come over because she was throwing up and had an accident in the bathroom. I said I'd be over to clean it up and she said, "No Mom, I cleaned it up, can you just come over?"

I stayed with her from 2 until 6 when I had to come home to get the kids up for school. It was an incredible 4 hours for me. I deep cleaned her bathroom, did her dishes, took her trash out, gathered her dirty laundry and held her hair as she threw up in the trash can and rubbed her back. Most importantly though when I did sit down I prayed over her as she slept. I prayed over her apartment.

This morning she called and said, "Mom, thanks for being there for me last night."

I wonder...does she have any idea that she is irresistibly desired by her Creator? Does she know that while she searches desperately to be loved that she already is? After a night of giving herself away does she know that Jesus wants to give Himself away to her?

What I do know is that my girl called me and to this praying, sometimes crying Mom that was a sweet touch from the Savior. One day soon I pray she'll realize that only by God she is completely loved and accepted and will stop believing the lies of the world.

If you have more to share on your own blog regarding this chapter, please sign up under Mr. Linky.

Next week...Chapter 9!

~Many Blessings~