Friday, October 31, 2014

take five...He will never leave...

Well, I did it. Today is day 31 of a 31 day writing challenge. This has really been fun and challenging.   Today for the last day I am joining up with Five Minute Friday. The rules are pretty much the same as I've been doing all month long, five minutes to write on one word. The word for today is LEAVE...




“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  
Deuteronomy 31:6


He will NEVER leave you...He will NEVER forsake you. That comforts me.
When I am feeling sorry for myself...He is right there. All I need to do is talk to Him.
When I am struggling...He is right there. All I need to do is lean on Him.
When I am facing a challenge that takes my breath away...He is right there. All I need to do is ask Him for strength.

He is right there, He is always right there, by my side. Why do I forget that? He is not going to leave me ever! When He makes a promise...He keeps it. He promised me that He will never leave me...He promised me that He would go with me. That brings me peace and comforts me. 

How about you? Are you struggling? Do you feel alone? There is no need to...HE is right there!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

take five...pray first...

The word for today is FIRST...



It is no secret that I am a competitive person, my husband just so happens to be one as well. We like to win, so sometimes games between us can become intense, but for the most part we are gracious at both winning and losing. We go into the game knowing that there will be a winner and there will be a loser, that's the nature of playing a game. 

Sometimes I tend to forget that in our marriage we are not playing a game, that my goal is not to win at times of disagreements. I can get so caught up in "winning" the argument that I fail to listen to  Brian, I am too busy presenting my case. If only I could step back and take a breath and realize that coming in first is not what is needed here. When I view a disagreement as an opportunity to win I am making sure we both lose. In those instances I need to stop, drop to my knees and pray...FIRST...before those competitive juices take over. Do I always remember to do that...sadly no...I am still very much a work in progress.


How about you? Is there a winner and loser in your marriage...I hope not. I hope you are both on the same team, working together, journeying through life, not keeping a score card. 

Here is a prescription for making sure you both win...

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes are things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

take five...untie or unite?

The word for today is UNITE...



So ever have one of those dyslexic moments when you look at a word and read it wrong? Well that happened to me with the word for today. Last night I checked my list to see what the word for today was  and I saw that the word was untie. (yep, read it wrong!) I was stumped as to how to use this word for anything encouraging. I was thinking well, you need to untie your shoes, but that's not really enough to encourage anybody. Then I thought of this summer when our son got married, I literally cut apron strings, could I change that story to be from the angle that we untied the aprons strings so he was now free to become one with Britt? So, I pondered it and came to sit down and write today only to realize the word today is not untie...it is unite!!!! This word still leads me in the direction of Caleb and Britt's wedding. After all what is a wedding, it is two people coming together to be united in marriage!The night before the wedding I read Britt a poem and cut the apron strings, I gave my son away. The next day at the wedding Caleb and Britt chose not to do a unity candle, they chose to braid three ribbons together, one ribbon represented Caleb, one represented Britt and the third represented God. What a beautiful picture of them joining together. Indeed a special day.

And though a man might prevail agains one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12







Tuesday, October 28, 2014

take five...are you leaving a wake?

The word for today is WAKE...




A ship in water leaves a wake, a big wake. This wake is noticed, it is felt by boats that come behind it. There is no hiding the effects it has. As a kid I used to love going to the lake and riding the waves that came in from passing boats. It didn't matter how fast the boat was moving, it still created a wake and some fun waves for me to play in close to the beach.

As I go through life, I ask myself am I leaving any kind of a wake? Will those who come behind me feel the effects of my life? If so, what kind of legacy am I leaving? As I think about my children and grandchildren I pray that they would look at the wake I leave as a good thing. I pray that I am leaving a wave that they will want to ride, a wave that points them to Christ, a wave that makes them better people. 

Your faithfulness endures to all generations...
Psalm 119:90


What kind of wake do you want to leave?



Monday, October 27, 2014

take five...feel free to act like a child...

The word for today is FREE...




One of my favorite parts of our church services happens during the offering every Sunday. As the baskets are being passed to the adults the kids bring forward their own offering. I am always amazed at how many kids we have in our church as they all head forward to drop their money in a can on the stage. Seeing the kids do this is so heartwarming. But what I really love is all the different personalities these kiddos have. If they are having a good day, you can see it on their face and in their body language. The same is true if they are having a bad day; there is no hiding it. Basically these kids are all genuine, they are not hiding behind any mask, they are who they are. Each and every Sunday these kids make me smile. 

What they are experiencing is a freedom to be who they are. So the question I am pondering today is...why can't we feel free like that? If we are having a bad day why do we try and hide it? Let's all try and be more childlike!


"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, 
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3



Sunday, October 26, 2014

take five...please pray...

The word for today is VISIT...



Today I simply want to ask all prayer warriors to pray for a friend's daughter. She is visiting China and is having some health issues. Please pray that her flight can get changed asap. Thank you!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

take five...enjoying what God created...

Today's word is ENJOY...


When our kids were little we took them on a hike at a waterfall near where we lived. At lunchtime we  snuck off the trail and had lunch by the stream. We felt like we were the first people ever to find this amazing spot, so we gave it a name. We called it Hitogochi..."Hidden Treasure of God's Creation". That was a great day, one I will never forget. We took the time to enjoy something God created and at the same time made a memory.

The original Hitogochi...

This past summer was one of my favorite summers in a long time. I found myself outside more than I had been in years. There were so many opportunities for me to enjoy God's creation. As the summer progressed I found myself thinking of Hitogochi and determined I would enjoy and find even more hidden treasures of God's creation. Ok, so the treasures I found weren't actually hidden, many of them were in my own back yard. However, if I hadn't taken the time to appreciate and enjoy God's creation it would have remained hidden to me. 

God is such an amazing artist, the way he paints a sunset takes my breath away. God has way more colors in His color box than I have in mine. I discovered this summer the beauty in the color green, the amount of different shades of green God uses is amazing. The wild flowers I saw growing this summer made for a far more beautiful bouquet than any florist could ever create. This fall the colors on the trees seemed more intense, more breathtaking to me. All of these observations occurred because I took the time to notice, I took the time to thank the one who created my views, God's creation is amazing!

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 
John 1:3


Here are some of my Hitogochi pictures from this past year...
















Friday, October 24, 2014

take five...I dare you!

Today is Five Minute Friday and also day 24 in my take five series. The word for today is DARE...



Just over nine months ago I received a new title...grandma! Let me tell you it was love at first sight, actually I am pretty sure I was in love before that first peek. We prayed for that little girl every day during the pregnancy. When you pray for someone you begin to care. We didn't know who exactly we were praying for, no idea if it was a boy or a girl, no idea what the name would be. We didn't care, this little baby was special and we were in love. Now we get the privilege of praying for her by name and we are honored to pray for her daily...she is our crown. And we eagerly anticipate the day we have more crowns to pray for. (no pressure kids!)

Grandchildren are a crown of the aged...
Proverbs 17:6

My paraphrase of that verse goes more like this...
Grandchildren are a crown of the middle aged...


So, I want to dare you to do something. I dare you to look at these pictures and not smile. This little beauty is Ellie... our first crown!













*photo credits 
Mandi Pool Photography
Amber Rae Photography
Heather Boyd 
Ashley Klingsheim

Thursday, October 23, 2014

take five...look at me...

Todays word is LOOK...





Mommy...look at me dance.
Daddy...look at me tie my shoes.
Mommy...look at me...I drew you a picture.
Daddy...look at me twirl.

All day long you hear those words...mommy...look at me, daddy...look at me...
Your child craves your attention, your child longs for you to see her. When she knows you are looking it is as if she is playing to grand stage, a stage filled with one of the people she seeks attention from. She is not only seeking your attention...she is seeking your approval.

I don't think we ever outgrow that phase, but I think as we mature the audience we are playing to needs to change. We shouldn't do what we do to impress our parents, our friends or even strangers. We need to realize that we play to an audience of One. We don't need to twirl to get His attention; we have it every day, every second of every day. He is watching, He sees us; He knows our every move. I want the things He sees to be pleasing to Him, I want to make Him smile just like a mommy smiles at the accomplishments of her child, I too want to please my daddy...my Abba Father!Today, as I go about my day, I will be asking God not only if He is looking, but if what He sees is pleasing to Him.


For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. 
Galatians 1:10



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

take five...expect to overcome...

Today's word is EXPECT...





"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

John 16:33



Notice in the verse above it does not say you might have tribulation, it says you will have it. This world is not a perfect place and trials are a part of living. God tells us to expect trials, He never promises us that life will be all sunshine and happiness for us. He does promise us peace, so when trials come approach them with expectancy of that peace that surpasses all understanding. I love the last part of that verse, "But take heart, I have overcome the world." God is the ultimate overcomer and because of that He has given us the power to be overcomers as well! So expect trials, but also expect that with God's help you will overcome!!!






Tuesday, October 21, 2014

take five...just a second...

Today's word is SECOND...



When our kids were growing up we had a saying that I know each one of them remembers today. Delayed obedience is disobedience. In other words, please do what we ask you to do when we ask you to do it! 

Here is a typical conversation involving this saying...

Time for bed, let's go brush your teeth.

Just a second mom...

No, not in a second now.

I will...in a second. 

No, now. Are you disobeying me? You know that delayed obedience is disobedience.


Were we such mean parents that we wanted our kids to jump every time we spoke? No. We wanted to teach them discipline and respect. We wanted them to respect our authority and the "just a second" game was not one to be played in our house. Were there exceptions to the "just a second" rule...yes! However they were just that...exceptions.

So, how often do we say just a second to God? We pray and ask for His guidance and when it comes we don't act, we hesitate, we come up with something that needs to happen first. Is this what God wants from us...delayed obedience?  Here is Jesus' response to just a second...

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” 
Luke 9:57-62

God wants obedience...not delayed obedience from us! What is He asking you to do?

Monday, October 20, 2014

take five...fear not...


The word for today is FEAR...



Fear...this is a very real emotion these days. Everyday as I scroll through my Facebook feed I sense fear in people's posts. As I watch the news I find that fear creeping up on me. Fear is an emotion that can get the best of me, it can cripple me, cause me to feel anxious, make me irrational at times. I am so thankful that God addresses fear in His word. When I chose to remember that God is with me, when I chose to focus on Him, my fear (both fear of real things and what if fear) dissipates. There are stilly scary things going on the world, but does living in fear really help? 

Here are some of my favorite reminders to fear not. As the events of this world crash down on you and you find yourself being fearful, read these and be reminded of who is really in control...God!


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Isaiah 41:10

I sought the LORD, and he answered me ad delivered me from all my fears. 
Psalm 34:4

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 
John 14:27

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

This is just a small sampling of verses I turn to. Take some time to search out your Bible and find the verses that comfort you. Share them with me if you would like.







Sunday, October 19, 2014

take five...honor...

The word for today is HONOR...






The definition of honor is "to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect."  So your assignment for today is to try and treat someone with more admiration and respect than they treat you! Let's make this trying to outdo one another a friendly competition where we all are winners!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

take five...taste


The word for today is TASTE...



I have a confession to make...I do not drink coffee. (please don't judge me!) I tried it and I just don't like it, I don't have the desire to acquire the taste for it either. I am perfectly content with a hot cup of tea with a little added honey; it is perfect on a cold day. I prefer the sweet taste over the bitter.

As much as I like adding honey to sweeten my tea, there is something that will sweeten my day even more than that... God's word! Take some time today to add some sweet flavor to your day...open your Bible...it's words are sweeter than honey!







Friday, October 17, 2014

take five...how long is it?

Today is day 17 in my take five series, it is also five minute friday. Stop over at Heading Home to see what other bloggers have to say about the word of the day. Today's word is LONG..


 




I'm a numbers person...that's just how my brain works. There is always a calculator running in my brain...I hear the year someone was born and I automatically calculate how old they are. Numbers matter to me. 

There is one thing that my brain has not been able to calculate and that is just how much God loves me, His love cannot be measured with numbers. There is no exact measurement to how wide, how long, how high and how deep God's love it; it is beyond measuring. A measurement indicates something is finite, God's love is not finite, it is infinite. It is wider, deeper, longer, and higher than any number could ever indicate. It is the most powerful love imaginable, it is a love like no other, it will not fit in a box. 


And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

I thank God for His love for me, I am in awe of it, I pray to grasp the enormity of it. I pray that I would never try to put it in a box, but that I would allow it to be what it is. I pray that I can love Him back in an immeasurable way, I pray that my love for Him is too deep, too long, too wide and to high to be measured! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

take five...sometimes you need to adjust things...

Today's word for my 31 day series of take five is ADJUST...



This morning as I was laying in bed feeling awful, I turned on Facebook and the only thing I read was this from one of my favorite bloggers

"So here's the thing - today is probably not going to go as you planned. 
I find it's a relief to just accept that at 6am rather than to temper tantrum about it at 6pm, eh?" 

I actually read this at 6 am! It was then that I realized I would have to accept a change in my plans for the day. A change that would involve me doing literally nothing except nap for most of the day. I had to adjust myself to a sickness that snuck up on me. Did I whine a little and feel sorry for myself? Why yes I did! Once I realized what my day was going to look like, once I realized there was only one option for myself, then and only then was I able to quit feeling sorry for myself and really rest. 

Lots of days are like that, well maybe not the sick part, but the having to change plans part. We make plans only to be disappointed, frustrated, and irritated. We get annoyed and maybe even throw a pity party. Why do we do this to ourselves? Oh, to be the person who wakes up in the morning and asks God what He has planned for me that day. Oh, to be the person who accepts change more readily and is able to go with the flow of my day and adjust my expectations. I am a work in progress, but thankfully God just keeps working on me! 

My plans may change and things may not go how I want them to, but as long as my anchor is the One who doesn't change then I'm ok! 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and
today and tomorrow. 
Hebrews 13:8


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

take five...life

Today's word is LIFE.


Jesus...He is THE way, He is THE truth and He is THE life!!! Turn to Him, lean on Him, trust in Him. Do those things and you will life...abundant life...eternal life!







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

take five...they needed to go away...

The word of the day is AWAY...



Away...I don't really always like that word. 

When our oldest graduated from high school, she spent a year in Texas, she moved away.

When our middle child graduated from high school, she spent a year in Texas, she moved away.

When our youngest graduated from high school, he spent a year in Texas, he moved away.



Do you see a trend there? Each of our children not only left home, they went about 24 hours away from us! I can honestly say that a drive has never seemed so long.

However, I believe that the time away was good for each one of them. They were in good schools, growing in their faith. Each one of our kids had challenges unique to them, but each one of our children came away from Texas a better and stronger person. God used that time to help each one of them make their faith their own. Would God have worked had they gone to school closer to home? Of course, but His plan for them included getting them away and working on them in Texas. 

So parents as your kids leave home; it will be hard, but it can be the very thing God uses to draw them closer to Him!

For I know the plans I have for declares the LORD...
Jeremiah 29:11









Monday, October 13, 2014

take five...work


Today's take five word is WORK...





Whatever you do...that means any kind of work... whether at home or in the work force, whether in ministry or secular, whether paid or unpaid...
work heartily ..that means work hard, apply yourself, give it your all...
as for the Lord...that means as though God himself is your boss, as though he is watching you...
and not for men...that means don't work for the applause of men, don't try to impress, don't compete, don't compare.





Sunday, October 12, 2014

take five...find rest...

For the month of October I am participating is a 31 day writing challenge. It has been a good 12 days so far, I have been stretched and enjoyed the discipline of writing every day. I have found some good inspiration from other blogs I have been following this month. Head over to 31 Days to find some of these blogs and to find people doing the five minute-31 day challenge stop over at Heading Home and see how others are interpreting the same words as me. Today's word is REST...


Are you feeling tired?
Are you feeling heavy laden?
Are you stressed?
Are you too busy?
Then today seek HIM....He will give you rest!!