Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God promises to restore what I've lost!

"Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring." (Joel 2:23)

We usually think of the rain as the difficulties in our life - as something bad that only causes us pain, but here it says the rain demonstrated God's faithfulness! The rain during the storms of life may not feel good, may get us 'wet' and feel yucky. But it is also the rain that gives LIFE. We need the rain to survive. We should be still and soak in the rain when it comes, knowing that His rain brings us life.

"The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil." (Joel 2:24)

After the rain comes the harvest. The more we soak in that rain, the greater our harvest.

"The LORD says, "I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you." (Joel 2:25)

He promises to restore what was lost! What are the locusts? Sin. Rebellion. The enemy's attacks. We allowed them to take away those years - to be unfruitful. But God promises to give us back those years...to restore and redeems us. He says He sent the locusts! He did it to make us aware of our sin and rebellion - so we'd recognize our need for Him! He doesn't want to hurt us - He wants us to come to Him so that He can bless us.

"Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the LORD your God, who does these miracles for you." (Joel 2:26)

We will have everything we need! We will praise God, our Redeemer! Why not praise Him IN the rain!?

Monday, January 18, 2010


The word for 2009 was LOVE. The word for 2010 is REDEEM!

What does redeem mean? It means "fulfill". I'm very excited about this word!! It gives me great hope to think that 2010 will be a year of redemption for me! So many things have happened in my past that could be redeemed this year.

First of all, I am redeemed by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He died on the cross for me and my sins are forgiven because of what He did for me! There is no better redemption than that! And I've already received that redemption!

Anything else is whipped cream and chocolate sauce and cherries on top!! It WILL be a great year!!

"Put your hope in the LORD,

for with the LORD is unfailing love

and with Him is full redemption."

--Psalm 130:7

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am in love!!!

I know what you are thinking... "this must involve the new man in her life!" I imagine you are excited and so happy for me. And well you should be!!!

Each year, I pray for God to show me a word for me to focus on for the year, a word for Him to define and grow me in for that year. Last year's word was clearly "LOVE". At first, I was very afraid of that word. I thought that it might mean dating and I didn't think that I was ready for that!! Well, God DID have a plan for that...and HE prepared me for it. I am so glad He did. I AM enjoying the company of my "Joseph". He motivates me to draw nearer to my God, to be more like Him!

But that isn't the aspect of LOVE that God was going to focus on for me. The LOVE He had in store for me was my own love - for others, but mostly for HIM!! By the end of 2009, I am able to truly say that "I am SOOOOO in love with Jesus!!" He is so sweet to me. He provides for me. He keeps me safe. He cares for me and shows me how much He loves me! He is faithful and honest. He wants the very best for me. He does special, personal things for me! He grows me - for my good! He has chosen me. And He blesses me.

I AM in love! With the God of the universe!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

God is growing me!

God is growing me in so many ways right now. For starters, I have said for years that I would never get married again and don't want anything to do with men. One year ago, He told me that He may have another plan for me - and for my little ducklings. I was "kicking and screaming" about it then too! But He has changed my attitude about it. AND now, He has sent me an incredibly godly man (we'll call him "Joseph" for now). I am enjoying getting to know him more. It is the sweetest thing to be in a relationship with a man who cares more about pleasing God than anything else.

God is also growing me in my relationship with Him. He has been showing me that I am lacking in my freedom of worship. I have felt this "bondage" before and was set free when I went to a new church and experienced worship at another level. I am seeking after God to show me His will and set me free to worship Him deeper. And yet, as He shows me, I hesitate. It is out of my comfort zone. But isn't that just like God - to stretch us?

Last night "Joseph" came over for dinner and brought a DVD to watch together about this. Afterwards, we had a great discussion about it. When he left, I was able to have a time of prayer, repentance, and seeking after God for truth. As I went to bed, I read a devotion that said this...

"Come on! We have seen that the land is very good. Aren't you going to do something? Don't hesitate to go there and take it over...God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever." --Judges 18:9-10

"Come on!" This command indicates that there is something definite for us to do and that nothing is ours unless we take it.
How much of God's Word have you received and endorsed, and of how much have you been able to say, "This has been done in my life"? By how many of His promises have you signed your name and said, "This has been fulfilled to me"?

It goes on to say...

"Do not miss your inheritance through your own neglect."
I feel like God is reminding me that I need to seek after Him on this and that I could miss something so good - by my own neglect. I don't want that! I don't want to miss a blessing He has for me!
Yes, growing can be painful, but it can be so sweeeeeet too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Traditions

My family has had a tradition that we have celebrated on Christmas every year since I was born. We spent Christmas Eve with my mom's family in KY. We had spaghetti (no, we aren't italian) and salad bar for dinner. Opened presents and enjoyed each other until late into the night.

This year, we have lost 3 family members. The first one was my grandmother, then my uncle (my mom's brother) and then another uncle (my mom's brother-in-law). Sadly, noone is in the Christmas spirit. We are not gathering for our traditional Christmas Eve celebration.

Many people have had a difficult year this year, perhaps financially with the recession (I sure have!). But I encourage you to remember the "reason for the season". We enjoy our traditions and celebrations at Christmas, but remember the very first Christmas. That is what it is all about. We can celebrate Jesus' birthday anywhere. Yes, it will be different. It won't be about presents (who can afford any?). It won't be about food (I can't eat any! lol). It won't be about extended family (they are doing their own thing). But, it's okay. It WILL be about my Savior's Birthday. That is what it is supposed to be about!

Have a Happy Jesus' Birthday!

Monday, August 31, 2009

God chuckled

God has a sense of humor. Last week I wrote a lesson to teach to the ladies in my small group. It was about different ways you can live your life:
* in REACTION to your circumstances and things around you.
* in ROUTINE - the same way you always have.
* a RICH, REWARDING life! God has told us in His Word that He wants us to live an abundant life. What a gift from Him.

Sunday morning I arise to prepare to go to church and teach this lesson. And CandyMan is sick. I could almost hear God chuckling!

How could I teach that lesson if I was living in REACTION (which is actually often my ROUTINE when my kids get sick)?? I can imagine God thinking, "how is she going to handle this one?"

Not only did I need to be at church, I needed to be at my first day of classes on Monday morning (my debut return to college after almost 20 years). If you know me (and if you are reading this, you probably do), then you know that it is a horrible thought to me to have to miss the first day!!

But God had prepared me for this, since I had been studying His Word just that week preparing to teach others. He is good. And He had a plan.

I went to my small group and taught the lesson. I am right now sitting in the library at my college after attending my first class and awaiting the next one. CandyMan went to the doctor this morning and he doesn't have what we feared. (Swine Flu has been confirmed in a couple of children in their school. My duckling does NOT have it. I'm praying they don't get it.)

All is good. He is in control! I am trusting in Him.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm a School Girl!

Can you believe it? I sure can't! I'm a school girl! I'm going back to college!

Classes begin on Monday for me. I'm excited and anxious all at the same time! I'm going full time. And the government is paying for all of it (through grants). It's an offer I can't refuse! I have one year of classes to take before I'll qualify to get into nursing school (that is my plan).

Please be praying for me!! I can't imagine how I will balance it all - full time college, 2 part time jobs, and 3 full time kids!! :) I need peace, financial provision (I still have to pay bills afterall), sweet sleep and an occasional break!! I'm trusting God to take care of it all!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I did it!

I did it! I met my goal! I had so much fun doing it, that I forgot it was my goal until someone reminded me that I'd met it! Ha!
One year ago I set a goal to lose enough weight and get in shape enough to water ski. It was my dream. When I was young I used to slalom all over the lake. At the age of 17, I was in a serious car accident and herniated a disc in my lower back. I was never able to ski much after that. I've missed it - for 20 years!!

I can't even describe how good it felt to do this again - I did it twice in one day! And I can't wait to do it again!

Another first that I did last week:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our church has broken ground!

NorthStar broke ground on our new property a few weeks ago to build our new building. The Sunday afterwards, they had enlarged some photos from the event and put them on the wall in the foyer of our current location. Here is one of the photos:

Here are some shots that I got:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Guitar Hero!

It's my oldest son's birthday today! I have such sweet memories of the last 12 years with him. This is his last year before becoming a teenager!! Look out world!

Pray for him this day! He has 2 finals at school - Math and English. He has the middle school musical this evening (he has a speaking part in it!). I am taking him a "donut cake" to share with his class at lunch and hopefully we'll have time to go out to dinner after school/before the musical. Life is so busy this week, it is hard to really celebrate. I feel sorry for him in that way. When you home school, the birthday child is with you all day and you make it a full day celebration. Today is more like an adult birthday for him. He's not used to it. I'm trying to make him feel as special as possible, under the circumstances!

He has grown up so much in the last few months and is doing much better than he was for the last few years. I'm so happy for him and I'm so proud of him!