Lately, my daughter Madison will ask, "Are you happy or sad?". I am not for sure where she learned that phrase at but sometimes it is easy for me to respond to and then it's not! Like last night, I was on my second round of telling the kids to get ready for bed and I guess Madison could "hear" that my voice level had changed and she just blurts out, "Mama, are you happy or sad?". My response to that was, "I am fast approaching MAD if you kids don't get ready for bed!" It's amazing that my 3 year old can tell the difference in my mood. So what makes you happy or sad?
Here is my list:
* when my kids talk and play well together
* that electric feeling when Mark spontaneously holds my hand
* a great cup of flavored coffee
* walking 4 miles
* a clean/organized house
* a great meal from The Grill
* surprisingly enough setting up portable SAC as a family
* family get togethers
* smell of a brand new car
* a baby puppy
* a nice hot bath
* clean sheets on the bed
* getting my hair washed and cut at the salon
the list could go on and on....
* the end of a vacation
* unpacking from a vacation
* when my kids argue and don't like each other
* I don't get a good nights sleep
* people who stop at a yield sign
* being sick
* people who let you down
* impact of world disasters
* the way the world seems to be going down hill
* all the budget problems
again, the list could go on and on....
For me, I would rather focus on the happy list but when I don't, I know I will have Madison asking, "Are you happy or sad?"
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know: God answers prayer.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the guise I thought.
I leave my prayer to Him alone
Whose will is wiser than my own.
--Eliza M. Hickok
Do you ever catch yourself to shy or embarrassed to ask someone for something? I know I do. Sometimes Mark and I “argue” over asking someone a question or directions and you know that feeling you get when you start the conversation of “I’m not going to do that! Well, neither I am!” and then you just leap out of the car and just do it? I guess it is the “fight or flight” syndrome that kicks in and saves the day!
Why is it that sometimes we don’t like to ask for things? I am programmed to usually just do things without asking for help whether it’s house work, re-arranging furniture, cooking, etc… I feel like when I ask for help it takes away a little of my control and then I don’t feel like I have done the task all by myself! Sounds pretty selfish.
As I am trying to make myself a more positive person, I have had some great ideas in the books I have been reading lately! The latest one is the ASK principle: “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” I have heard this principle all my life but rarely do I ever follow it completely! In the society we live in today, we expect things to be done quickly and to be done right. But God doesn’t always work that way. I know I have prayed for things and some have come to pass and others have not and I am thankful for that. Asking things from the Lord is an act of faith that he encourages us to do. In the stage of life I am in now I am asking God to move in my life to help me become a better follower of Him and to totally turn every area of my life over to him. That’s a hard thing to do. Remember my control story above? Lord help me in this area!!
Seeking is all together different. You can ask/pray to God all day long and if you don’t seek him, what’s the point. Seeking is where I am at also. The word seek has to do with desiring, endeavoring, or inquiring about something. In order for me to become a better wife and mother, I have to be actively inquiring or seeking things. That is why I have been reading the positive books and devotionals and blogging about them so much. It’s worth the find!
Finally, knocking on God’s door. Knocking is an action. If you go to someone’s house and stand in front of the door and never knock (or ring the doorbell) how will they know you are there? I think God feels that way sometimes. We ask and seek but never fulfill the final step. Taking action! One man put it this way: “if you want to get to the other side of the lake, you need to get in the boat and start paddling.” It’s not good enough just to stand on the bank and admire the scenery and wish you could be on the other side. You’ve got to do something. If I want to become a better wife and mom, I can read every book known to man, but if I never make a change or put things into action, I will never succeed.
God just wants us to ASK—and then we have to trust him for the answer!
Friday, March 25, 2011
On March 27, I will have been alive on this earth for 38 years! Yikes, that sounds mature! Especially when this summer I will be attending my 20 year High School Reunion! Wow a lot has happened in the last 20 years.
Since graduating from good ole’ Lake View High School (Go Chiefs), I graduated from college with a nursing degree, got married, had 4 kids, took some really cool vacations across the US and Canada, bought and sold some cars and houses, took lots of pictures and videos, and made some wonderful relationships that will last a life time! Doesn’t sound like a lot for 20 years but I guess that just shows you how time goes by so fast!
As I am writing this I think back to a line in the movie High School Musical 3 where Gabriella says to Troy, “I wish time would just stop, or at least slow down!” Now I know many of you may have not watched the HSM movies but with my kids we have seen them at least half a dozen times. There are times when I wish time would just stop and let us enjoy the good times for more than a day! There have been many times that our family has had some great experiences and I wish that I could capture those feelings, smells, emotions and make them last forever. One example is when my kids were babies! I remember holding them, touching their soft skin, smelling their feet, and holding their little hands in mine. Now, they are older and smell like sweat and have dirt in places that I never thought possible.
Even though it is nice to reminisce, I love the fact that my kids are getting old enough to make new memories and take different trips that we all can enjoy! For me, I feel like I have the potential to be a better person physically, emotionally, and spiritually than I have ever been before. I don’t feel like I am getting “older” but I’m becoming a woman that is ready to blossom into a whole new lifestyle that is waiting to be revealed. I just have to pursue it and be intentional about important decisions that will not only affect me but also my husband and kids! I feel like I am on my way!
Can’t wait to see how God uses me this next year!!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Proverbs 31 states: “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing for laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. “
How do you see your role as a wife (or future wife)? I know for me personally, I love being Mark’s wife. We met at church way back in the Fall of 1993. After 2 ½ years, we officially became Mr. & Mrs. on June 22, 1996. On our honeymoon, it was just like we were spending the same amount of time together accept that we didn’t have to say goodbye at night. We were married and we could do anything we wanted! Over the first couple of years, I never thought about my role as a wife like Proverbs describes it. I just wanted to make my husband happy and meet all of his needs. We struggled, like most newlyweds do, with finances, time, work and school schedules. It does take a while to come together as one. I remember the first few months of marriage. It was hard for me to be able to sleep because I wasn’t use to someone sleeping next to me! I slept in a twin size bed all my life so to upgrade to a Queen sized bed with someone else in it was strange. Of course with marriage comes the duty of being the housewife! But there is something about wanting to make your husband happy and feeling proud by him walking into a clean house that smells good and looks nice. I still have that same desire today, even though it is a little more challenging with 4 kids! As I have gotten older and learned from experience, being a wife takes dedication and lots of prayer. I feel like God has instilled in me the desire to be a good housewife, mother, teacher, counselor, events coordinator, and an overall jack of all trades. I want to serve my husband and watch over the household. I want to speak with wise words and give instructions with kindness. I may not like it all the time but down deep that is what I feel like I am suppose to do. So I guess for the most part, I am a Proverbs 31 woman but in the 21st century!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
As I was reading through a devotional this morning, I came across an interesting idea. The description of a gatekeeper, as defined in I Chronicles 9: 23-29, has very similar characteristics to being a portable church.
Here are just a few of those verses:
These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the Lord when that house was a tent. The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sides. Their relatives in the villages came regularly to share their duties for seven-day periods. The four chief gatekeepers, all Levites, were trusted officials, for they were responsible for the rooms and treasuries at the house of God. Some of the gatekeepers were assigned to care for the various articles used in worship. Others were responsible for the furnishings, the items in the sanctuary and the supplies, such as choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense, and spices.
Sounds a whole lot like what goes on at http://www.sanangelochurch/ on a weekly basis. We have a lot of gatekeepers who dedicate their time, muscles and sweat to help “guard” and care for the rooms at the house of God. Along with other gatekeepers that provide the “choice flour, wine, olive oil, frankincense and spices”. Even though for us it is chocolate balls, cookies, cheesecake bites, etc...
Thank goodness that we can learn and model our lives after the Levites to help create the house of the Lord to allow people to come and hear the life changing message of Jesus Christ.
Give it up for the Gatekeepers!!
Monday, March 21, 2011
This is a blog post from Tricia Lovejoy. I can so relate to this post as Mark and I feel the same way about San Angelo Church! Thanks Shawn and Tricia Lovejoy for the encouragement and perseverance of church planting!
I love my church. I really do. Not because it's my church...the one my husband and I planted....the one we've devoted our lives to. I love my church because the people here get it. They understand the chain reaction they have when they serve and give. They partner together to create a place where people feel welcomed, loved, and accepted.
Do you know what happens when someone disconnected from God or church comes to Mountain Lake and they encounter a smiling face directing them to a parking spot, when someone strikes up a conversation with them as they walk in the doors, when they are served a free cup of hot coffee, and when they discover outstanding environments for their children to enjoy? They feel comfortable! They feel like they belong. They drop their defenses. Then, they can sit and listen to our Pastor share a relevant, practical message about God. You see, if people have a bad experience in the parking lot or lobby, they won't care what the Pastor says. They'll already have him tuned out. So, life change starts with our people, not our Pastor.
The people at MLC get it, too. They serve in volunteer areas making our church a great place to belong. They give of their time and resources because they love God and they love our church. Yesterday, my hubby taught on this "chain reaction" and reminded all of us that when we serve and give, we reap eternal benefits for the people around us. Check it out:
-We come to church to learn.
-We feel welcomed and loved, so we continue coming.
-As we learn of God's love, our lives are changed.
-We want others to experience the same thing, so we begin helping other people feel loved and welcomed.
In other words, we begin with a "serve me" mentality, but we move to a "serve others" one. That's the goal! That pleases God! So, if you are a Mountain Laker, join me in serving and giving. Join the Cafe Team, rock a baby, or jump into Creative Arts. Not only will you feel more connected, but you'll help others find their way to God. Now, THAT'S radiating
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wow, Spring Break is here!! While most people are planning quick trips to the mountains or the beach I am planning on spending it with 4 crazy kids and one handsome husband. Even this morning the kids and I were talking about what we are going to do. Of course I offered the typical suggestions: go to the park, visit the library, go bike riding, etc…and then Kennedy states she wanted to go to Junction. Ahh, Junction aka “The River”. The city of Junction (rather the outskirts) holds fond memories for me. Over 35 years ago, my grandparents bought 7 acres of riverfront property on the Llano River covered in rocks, cactus and oak trees. I’m not for sure how many years it took but they eventually cleared away the unwanted rocks and trees and built a house that would last through their great grandchildren and beyond. You see there is nothing grand or elegant about those 7 little acres but it does give me a sense of refreshment and peace every time I go there. As a kid, I remember the two hour drive (when the speed limit was 55) from San Angelo and the excitement that I would feel when we left the pavement and drove onto the dirt road. It felt like we entered into a new dimension of time. Of course from the moment we saw the gate to the property we would jump out of the car and run to the house in time to see Ma-Maw and Paw-Paw waiting on the porch. I could probably write several hundred pages on the memories that The River holds for me. From the smell of the fire burning with cedar, putting out corn for the deer, tubing down the Llano river, the countless number of rocks skipped across the water, eating beanie-weenies to burgers, watching my grandmother “put on her face”, having your shoes filled with sand from the river, the list could go on and on.
As the years have gone by, Ma-Maw and Paw-Paw have gone on to heaven but they have left a lasting legacy for me to pass on to my kids. I think my favorite part of the whole place is the way the sun shines through the massive amount of oak trees in the late afternoon portraying beautiful sun rays that radiate throughout the trees. I like to think of it as God’s love shining down on his creation.So we may just take Kennedy’s suggestion and go to Junction for Spring Break and just add more memories to our lives!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality most of us ever encounter.—Richard Hendrix
As I started a new devotional this week, The Power of a Positive Wife, the second day focuses on waiting on God! Oh I could talk about this for hours. Waiting on God can be such a blessing and a curse. As the key scripture in the devotional focuses on the children of Israel and their journey from Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land, they had to wait on God and take the long route home. But what a miracle they were able to be a part of. Witnessing the parting of the Red Sea! Holy smokes!!
I often find that if an idea or thought comes to mind I want it fixed/done/accomplished right then and there. For example, when I have the idea to paint a room in my house, I just think get a bucket of paint and a roller and get started. Besides who needs to tape off the windows and base boards or fill in holes with putty. Just get the paint on the wall and move on. My husband can attest to the fact that when I don’t do those things, he is the first to ask why! Because then I have to go back and fix those things that should have been done right the first time. The fact is the shortest route isn’t always the best route.
As I personally face valleys and deserts, I can see that God is shaping my life for a much greater, more powerful plan than I could ever imagine. Even though I want the results STAT, he continues to reveal his plan ever so slowly. Mark and I have often talked about how God has developed our character and grown our faith through the circumstances of life. It’s easier to reminisce about those though times when you have made it to the other side but like the Israelites, we too sometimes have to go the long route to stay in God’s perfect timing but the rewards far out-weigh the struggles.
The same God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites is at work in our lives. We may not understand why he is taking us along a certain route—but we can always trust his love for us.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I haven’t posted a blog in a few days and honestly, I am experiencing bloggers block! I know there are a lot of things I could just blab on about but I would like to think my life is a little more interesting than a blab. Here goes nothing!
I finished reading the book The Power of a Positive Mom and there are so many tab marks sticking out of the pages it looks blue! I was so impressed by the simple things I can do as a mom and wife to help me stay positive for my husband and kids, I just started tabbing everything I wanted to try and do! Even while reading the book I was able to feel more of a positive vibe. The author, Karol Ladd, has inspired me to become a more positive person. I have also ordered the next book written by her called The Power of a Positive Wife! Can’t wait to start that one!! I was so impressed with her writings I even went as far as emailing her to tell her that. This is what she sent as a response:
Thank you for your kind words. May God give you all strength, joy and direction as you serve Him at your church. I'm thankful for what you are doing. Keep shining His light. I'm glad to know about you.
In His Service,
That was pretty cool!! Here’s a woman who lives in Dallas, writes books full time, and has more of a positive outlook on life than anyone I have ever been around, and took the time to encourage me.
So I guess that is worth blogging about!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I come before You, Father
To thank You for this life
The blessings You have given me
As a mother and a wife
I’m thankful for my children
As I watch them grow and play
Knowing that each moment
Will live for just today
I’m thankful for the laundry
For the dust to wipe away
I’m thankful for the problems
That make me stop and pray
I’m thankful for my husband’s job
The roof above our heads
I’m thankful for our daily food
For the comfort of our beds
I’m thankful for the errands
The phone that always rings
I’m thankful for the tears we cry
For the joy that laughter brings
I’m thankful for our family’s love
The way we sit and talk
The simple games we often play
The picnics and the walks
I’m thankful for the little things
That make up every day
For therein lies Your love, Lord
And the wonder of Your ways
I’m thankful for the memories
That life has brought my way
I count it as Your blessing
To be a mother every day.