Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What if the whole world was watching?

What if the whole world was watching every move you made, every bite you ate, heard every word you said would you live your life differently?

The first time I ever thought this was when my sister passed away. I thought ... now someone is going to go through all her things, and would she like what they uncover? It began to make me realize that one day, someone is going to go through all my private things and well... what does that say about me? It was then that keeping a clean and clutter free home of my own was important. I learned to like a clean space and using the time in my day to do such things as cleaning and decluttering. As a wife, mother, and homemaker that internal fear helped me be a better person.

Now.... I am having the thought "what if the world could see every bite I eat" and how often I ate. What would they think? Does it matter? Yes it does matter. Do you know why? I am not hiding anything from anyone about the fact that I have overeaten way too much lately. You look at me, you see it. But guess what?! We still try to hide it from ourselves. How do I know this? I just got through watching a few episodes of "Secret Eaters" on YouTube.

So my question is would you live your life differently if the whole word was watching your every move?

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Motivation for your Monday: The Inspiration


This week's Motivation for your Monday is simple really. Probably the simplest I know of, yet it takes a LOT sometimes of the simple things to catch my attention. That is plum silly! I LOVE how God brings certain people into your life at just the right time. Sometimes they are to be your encouragement, your cheerleaders, your teachers, but more than anything they are an inspiration of one form or another. Let me ask you this question and you only have a few seconds to answer because I want to know the very first answer that comes to your mind.

Who inspires you and in what way? That's it. Not too hard right?! For some this may indeed be difficult ~ but if that is the case, you are not spending enough time with people! Or it may be that you feel you have nothing new to learn. Either way, let's take a deep breath .... and allow our hearts and minds to be opened for a few minutes.

I have two specific people that God put in my life at different times and in the  process of our friendship blooming He used them to teach me many good things. I am friends with both of these women today and I am honored to call them friend and allow them to continue to mentor me.

A few years ago I wasn't such a good keeper of my home. I had the motivation but I really didn't have the know how to get it done and keep it done. This particular friend taught me a lot just by being around her. As we would gather at her house for a get together, I would notice that she had started with the  house clean, and cleaned as she went ~ yet still enjoyed her company and visited with everyone. Then guess what? Towards the end of the get together she would have everything just about picked up. Anytime I went over it seemed like her home was always clean. That is what I wanted, what deep down I longed for.

I began to mimic her. I would get up in the morning and any dishes that were left in the sink through the night were put into the dishwasher. Laundry is started as soon as the husband leaves for work and the kitchen cabinets are wiped down from making his breakfast and lunch. I am evolving into a more productive person as time goes on in the early morning hours. It just works.

I have another friend who throws great shindigs. I learned from her to prepare as much as you can before hand. Is there cooking or food prep that can be done ahead of time?

I am happy when I can be about the details and get those little things taken care of. Things like making sure there is plenty of ice in the ice chests, chilled water and juice pouches for the kids, iced tea and koolaid made. Plenty of tp stocked in the bathrooms, that sorta thing. Why? When I throw a shindig ... I want people to feel welcome, safe, and walk away saying "that was a good time".

4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:4-5 NIV

It is a blessing to have some Titus 2 women in my life, to encourage me not only to be busy at home ~ but HOW to be busy in a way that will bring my husband and God Almighty glory and honor!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sweet Word Sunday: Cleanse

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 NIV
There is something so sweet about a soft gentle summer rain shower. The gentle pitter patter as rain drops hit against the window, light winds making music with the wind chimes and whistling through the tree branches. It is just a peaceful kind of blessing that seems to calm me from the inside out. The earth smells so fresh, it even makes the birds happy. A cleansing of sorts.

But when we talk about cleansing things in our lives we begin to act like it is a death not a life giving experience. Why? Because more times than not we do not really want to give up whatever that change is going to take. Until we do.... we will not find the wholeness in our lives that we seek. So... let's delve right back into this scripture bit by bit and see what it is God is trying to really show us.

20. In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

Gold and silver~ valuable, treasures for special uses
wood and clay ~ common use items,
At our fourth of July bash I didn't break out the china and tea cups (gold and silver) ~ we used paper plates and solo cups (wood and clay).

21. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Cleanse themselves from the latter ~ (get rid of the things in our house that are for common use) this is NOT your physical house ... but your inner house. Is this an easy process? absolutely not. But by doing so we are given a promise of a blessing!!

will be instruments for special purposes made HOLY, useful to the Master (God Almighty) and prepared to do any good work.

Just as rain cleanses the earth ~ God wants us to be cleansed as well. This is going to take action on your part because you have to realize that there are things in our lives that we have to let go of. Expectations of others. Making those around us feeling responsible for the way we react or feel. Spending time and energy on things that are not fruitful.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Beauty of Being Unplugged


Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July here at home with a few friends. A gathering of sorts that does not happen too often, maybe a couple of times a year but always lots of fun. The great thing ~ the ability for me to "unplug" and simply enjoy the company being had. In fact my phone was in the living room and well... for the most part I was outside! Completely UNPLUGGED! I have been doing that more lately. I am learning as time goes on ... my life does not revolve around a tiny hotbox that I can carry around with me ~ though it is very valuable to my life. My life.... is about living and enjoying the moments around me. Engaging in REAL conversations with people face to face. Embracing the wonderment of watching children chase frogs and seeing how many they can gather in their hands at one time. The ability to sit and not worry what so and so is doing. Pure living life.

I know that I don't exactly come across as the world's most favorite person. I am very outgoing and I LOVE people. But with that being said ~ I am not one to draw a lot of attention to myself though it happens naturally a lot. I have a different way of thinking and living than many. Being UNPLUGGED helps me to learn to love that about myself. I get sad ~ deeply sad when I see husbands and wives disrespect each other in the name of a "joke" or "humor". I get hurt when I see the actions of children that are very unbecoming to their character and very reflective of their parents skewed boundary lines in the way that they parent.

Being unplugged .... often puts things back into perspective. What matters most? Is it what so and so had done this week that I didn't have time or money to do? No, not at all. But it is the simple fact that I realize how much I love the life that I live and how much it works. Unplugging takes away the cruel and sick sense of living a life of comparison. For when we live like that not only do we become unhappy with our own lives but we are unhappy with those around us as well.

So, to anyone who may try to reach me by phone or text and I do not respond immediately. I am not being careless, callous, or inconsiderate. See unplugging has nothing to do with you really. Is it inconvenient for you, and perhaps even myself? Sure. But life isn't always supposed to be convenient even in this day and age. This is not a wish one minute receive the next kind of life that I am trying to live. No thanks! I am living in the here and now ~ living for the moment and embracing the little parts of life that I will never get back.

*Watching my teenager teach adults how to dance and shake like the kids of today. ~ FUNNY stuff!
* Hearing a joke from a 12 year old followed by his own laughter above anyone else's.
* Realizing God has ordained my days ~ and embracing the people He put and even may have pruned out for that day .... makes me remain peaceful.
* Catching my husband's glance at just the right time.
* Hugs from friends that are really like sisters.
* Acceptance for just being me.

I challenge YOU to unplug from time to time. It really is refreshing and puts things into perspective.
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

'Missing Butter"!

Okay this week has been a whirlwind! That is usually how it happens when your fighting things both in the physical realm of life and the spiritual realm right?! You do know they are connected....yes?! Good. At least we got that straight!


Well, this post is going to be a two in one because I am going to give you a couple of little stories that 's been happening in my head, my heart, and yes even in some of my relationships. I guess the first one should be about the butter because that is the title but I am in a spunky kind of mood (blame it on the workout or the kitkat ~ you choose) and your either gonna have to deal with me a wee bit longer or you can just scroll down.

A couple of Monday's ago I shared with you of the principle that God really laid on my heart several years back of "If you don't take care of what I have already given you ~ how can I bless you with more?" This subject came up again this week in conversation with a friend who was pretty distressed about a situation in her life. She was overwhelmed, yet not doing what it was taking to take care of what God has given her ~ and she was feeling that lack of not receiving the blessing of more. For some this could be in the finance department. If your blowing your money on things that you really don't need, yet you can't pay your bills. Why would God supply enough for those extras? For some it could be relationships. If we are tending to the fruitful relationships in our lives, yet we spend all our energy on relationships that God is trying to prune in our hearts and day to day comings and goings, then WHY would He bless us with more fruitful relationships? That principle for me was taught in my housekeeping, and the way I mothered and was a helpmate to my husband. I was horrid. I was far far off the mark of what God intended in my life. So, as God spoke that into me ~ I began allowing Him to encourage me, bring people into my life to help mentor me (who honestly have no clue they were doing that), and allow the changes to occur ~I became a better wife, mother, home keeper. If you are being challenged for wanting in the flesh "more" yet feeling that God isn't blessing  your life in that area ~ dig deep and find out why. Ask God to show YOU what it is that needs to be changed so that He can bless you. Faith is amazing. Faith paired with Action on your part ~ is life changing!

Now on to the butter!

Yesterday I was mixing up two different kinds of cookie dough. We are having a shindig here at the house tomorrow for the 4th of July with some friends and neighbors. We did the same thing last year and it is just so much fun, that it has become our holiday to host for our friends! Anyway, even though it is like a potluck type thing and others are bringing sweets, I decided to just make a few things. Cookie bars are easy ~ for me and for little hands to hold. They also don't take a ton of time like making bunches of batches of cookies sometimes does. I was making the second batch of dough and had my butter out on the counter getting soft. I followed my trust recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip but it was like the dough just wasn't coming together like it should. It was crumbly looking and I just didn't get it. UNTIL... I look over and see the butter just sitting there staring at me. Then... the whisper. "It's just not the same without the butter!". I added the butter in and began mixing it well and guess what! It came together beautifully! "IT's just not the same without me either!". No matter what you do ~ don't forget the butter!! Don't forget to include God in your plans either. He knows your desires and the things you would like to do ~ include him in that and just see how much better things come together!


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Monday, June 30, 2014

Motivation for your Monday: Take Action


Yesterday in Sweet Word Sunday we talked about Vision and how when God gives us a vision is very personal and intimate. We also touched base a little bit on how one person's vision doesn't necessarily have to be NOR should it be yours. I gave some vision examples with Noah, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, and Mary with the birth of Jesus. Today, let's take all that a little bit further.

In each of those cases, it took more than just a vision to see things happen. Of course, the vision has to happen first ~ and I imagine lots of prayer came afterwards to make sure that they were understanding correctly. But can i tell you something? They didn't wait around very long before each of them took action in their situation with the specific vision God gave them. He didn't tell Noah "Just go build a boat and get your family on it." No. He told him specifically what it would look like. Then when it was done he told them again to take two of each and every animal because anything left behind would be destroyed. Can you imagine the chaos that would occur if Noah just sat around and waited for the boat to build itself? Can you imagine the rejection God would feel if Noah said "Well, other's don't believe me so this must not be a good idea.".

So after God whispered "If your busy living someone else's vision you are unable to even find the vision God has for you!", he then expanded on that during yesterday's workout. "The vision is good to have because you can see where you need to go ~ BUT ..  you have to take action to get there. Like I said, Noah didn't sit there in his lounge chair and wait for God to build the boat. Joshua didn't just ride a four wheeler around the town of Jericho waiting for God to bring down the walls. NOPE! Both men had to put in some action to accomplish that vision! Was it easy? No. Imagine what the world would be like right now if neither man obeyed, and followed through.


The encouragement I want to leave you with today is this:
GET AFTER IT!


If God has given you vision (and passion) for something .... stop wasting time waiting for it to happen. Allow Him to lead you in the details of how to do achieve that vision ~ where it is a reality! For me, it is becoming clear, and each day I work towards making the vision He has given me my reality the more I realize how and why He gave that to me! I am seeing parts of my personality that has been buried come out, and believe it or not ~ I think I am trusting Him more now in my life that I am working towards my own visions than when I was floating around trying to live someone elses!

Remember:
 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? James 2:20

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sweet Word Sunday: Vision


Boy do I have a word for you! Well a few of them! Are ya ready?! This may be another one of those go getcha a good cold drink so you can read, digest, and ponder this post! ... Go ahead. I will wait right here! I already have mine, so I would hate to have my drink without you having yours!

Vision: noun 
1. the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.
2. the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur.
3. an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency: a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision.  
4. something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience: The vision revealed its message.
5. a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.
Yesterday, during my workout I heard that small still voice. One sentence mind you but it is just still being fed into my spirit ~ into the depths of my being! I even shared a portion of that on Facebook because I knew it would be there when I wanted to refer to it again. (Do you know, the majority of the mess I put on Facebook is for my own entertainment?! Who knew! Probably why my wall  looks very bipolar!) So... here let's take a peek!


Profound right?! Let's look at that again.

If you are busy living out someone else's vision, you are unable to even find the vision God has for you!!

Woah! That was pretty "take my breath" away yet it also brought happy tears to my heart and eyes too. Why? Because for so many years that is what I did ~ I lived to fit into someone else's vision. I took their vision as my own. I didn't have the guts to say "Uhm, that is NOT what I want to do with my life, and I am not going to.". I didn't have the heart to "offend" yet I offended God by not hearing what HIS vision for my life is. I buried them. I hid them. I didn't think I was worthy of them. Guess what!? God would NOT have given me the vision(s) that He has if He wasn't going to equip me ~ if he didn't already plan for me to do those things.

But let's not focus on me right now. Heck, lets not focus on you either. Let's see some stories from the Word where God did give clear vision. I won't go too much into detail as i want to because tomorrow's Motivation for your Monday's post is on taking action and why. (So if you see some duplicates just know that is basically a two part blog post!)

1. Noah  ~ Noah found favor with God when God was simply ready to end life as everyone knew it. So he gave Noah a vision ~ a CLEAR vision, and Noah obeyed. Do you think Noah was mocked? Yes. Could other's see the vision that Noah had? No. Do you know why? It was MADE specifically for Noah! The vision God gave Noah was for no one else, yet through the mocking and criticism Noah continued onward towards that vision. (If you click on Noah's name that is underlined ~ you can read part of his story.) Do you think anyone outside of Noah's family understood the vision? No! Not until they saw it come to pass.

2. Jericho ~ God gave Joshua a CLEAR VISION on how to take captive the city of Jericho! Do you think other's around them understood this whole vision? No! Not until they saw it come to pass.

3. Mary ~ God gave Mary a CLEAR vision too! She was going to become the birth mother to Jesus. He brought the vision for her life through a messenger ~ an Angel of the Lord. Did other's understand this vision? No. Would they? Well.. no, not until they saw it come to pass. In fact, she and Joseph both were ridiculed, judged by their peers, and even faced much criticism.

Let me get to my point! The point is that God has a vision for each of us. It is often VERY clear, and many times seems so unattainable and far fetched! That is how creative our God is! But we can't expect other's to understand our vision nor want the same vision for them. We also... and this is a hard one to chew ~ but that brought much freedom to me yesterday ... can't live someone else's vision for them. I see many people get wrapped up under a particular leader in their life but what is really happening is they are living someone else's vision. Some are called to be in our vision ~ and under that leadership. But not everyone. Noah's story is a good example of that. This is something I struggled with but finally feel like God has given me freedom to let go ~ and simply embrace the VISION for my OWN life that He has given me! It's time to let go of expecting to live under someone else's vision and see where God is trying to lead you! Until you do... He can't even begin to show you!

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