Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cleaning Up

Sunday night my husband, Kevin, and I went to a Passover meal at our church. We had been to one several years ago and were thankful for the opportunity to go again. The meal was very meaningful and we both learned a lot. We were thankful to have been there.

After the meal was just as meaningful. I am amazed at the capacity my church family has for working together. I did not help prepare the meal, but I know it was probably the same situation. Men, women, boys and girls all clearing away dirty dishes, emptying trash cans and storing chairs and tables. It looked like and ant colony. Everyone helping, every one. Sweet old ladies, kindly old gentlemen, pink-cheeked children, moms and dads. Like a Sunday dinner at your grandma's house. Cleaning up is not really a chore. It is a time of helping, laughing and getting to know each other better. Building strong bonds that stand the test of whatever the test is.

On the way home we talked, Kevin and I, about how blessed we are. We both have family that lives close that we see often. We love each of them. But we also have a church family. Sometimes I think they are just as close or closer. They put up with me and all my ways. Just like I do for them. Sometimes it's pretty, but sometimes it's not. Thank goodness we love eachother. Thanks the Lord He brought us together.

When you are with people you love even chores seem enjoyable. Cleaning up is one more chance to be together. Being together causes our frienships to grow. Church becomes a home away from home. I think that is what God had in mind. People loving Him and loving each other.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Disciplined Thinking

I am reading a book about addictions by Edward Welch right now. At first I couldn't really figure out why I was reading it. I bought it years ago because my daughter has battled a drug problem. Anyway, I picked it up a few weeks ago and have read a portion of it pretty much each day. It has definitely opened my eyes to my own struggles with different things that my flesh wants, whether it is a cold cappuccino on the way to church or listening to a conversation I shouldn't. Even though I have been a believer for well over 10 years, I still want what I want sometimes.

In the book, Mr. Welch encourages those struggling with the flesh to change a thinking pattern. For each time you think of yourself, you think a bout Jesus 10 times. At first I kind of dismissed the idea, but as I began to notice what I was thinking about throughout my day my mind changed. IT is amazing how many thoughts I have about myself, my problems, my wants, my sorrows, my joys. Me, me, me, me!!!!

What would happen in my life if each time I thought of my self, I thought about 10 different things about the Lord. His goodness, His forgiveness, His mercy, His love....the list could go on and on. It is possible to do it, it just takes me to put forth the effort. Am I willing to? Are you?

Sadly enough it will reveal to you how selfish we really are. Not something we want to see, much less admit. But I believe this could be what Paul means when he encourages us to pray without ceasing. How can we do it? By turning our thoughts toward Him every time we think of ourselves.

Lord, help us to focus on You. Help us to be so aware of our thoughts and what they produce. Selfish thoughts produce selfish people. We want our minds to be set on You. Then our actions will will be God-inspired. Thank You for changing our minds!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Wow, has this been a time of change in my life. For some reason I thought the older I got, the less exciting things would be. I was so wrong! God is definitely not finished with me. Retirement is not an option!

Two weeks ago, Feb. 25th, my baby turned 18. That just seems so weird. I have spent 26 years raising children. Now, both of them are 'aduts.' Kalynn, my baby, has grown into a beautiful, kind young woman. She has brought so much joy to our home. I know God has something awesome planned for her to accomplish. I can't wait to see what it is.

On the same day that week, with no previous warning, my oldest daughter, Kandice, got married. Totally unexpected!! My daughter has battled with her share of demons in the last several years and was embracing a sober life. She met this man, my son-in-law during her timne in a rehabilitation facility. Now I know that most of us would immediately say, 'oh no!' But, GOD... I don't know the plans He has, and His ways are higher than mine. So I am learning to call myself a mother-in-law. And I am believing that he is the man God is using to come along side my daughter and be her partner for life. My pastor had only known his wife of 35 years for 6 months when they married. Jacob had never seen Rebecca until she arrived with his servant and he took her to his mother's tent and she was his wife. With God all things are possible.

Now, today, March 8th, I met my granddaughter for the first time. Her name is Maddy and she is twelve. I already love her. Wow, I am a grandma! How does God do it?

The good things that have happened to me this week have taught me to savor the sweetness in life. Every week does not bring celebration, some weeks bring sorrow; how well I know it. But for today, I am rejoicing. My heart is full. I am thankful for the sunshine, and I will remember it when it rains.