Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 30 Let Him Take The Lead}

May I admit that I have been asking, no, begging God for the past nearly three years to be a stay at home mom?  Is it also ok to admit that I have allowed myself to have PPD because of it?  Well, not intentionally.  But, that's what happens when strongholds take over you.  I don't know if I will ever not want to be a stay at home mom.  I don't feel like I spend enough time with my family.  But, what I do know is that God is leading this journey.  I'm just taking His hand as a child would.  I don't know the plans He has for me, but He does.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Maybe God knows that I wouldn't be happy as a stay at home mom.  Some stay at home mom's don't feel fulfilled.  Maybe that would be me. 

Maybe God isn't saying no, but just not now.

Whatever He has planned for me is good. 

Just like when I was a teenager and my parents wouldn't let me ride with my newly licensed teenage friends (and I was so furious), they knew what was best for me.  They were protecting me.  They didn't want me to be a statistic.  They didn't want me to die like my cousin did at only 14 years old.  They had my best in mind.  They weren't trying to steal my fun or be overprotective.

I didn't understand it then. But I do now.  And, I appreciate it now. 

And just like my parents...even more than my parents...God is watching over me now.  He knows what is best for me and I'm going to let Him take the lead.

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 29 What A Ride!}

I love this quote.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, favorite beverage in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming,Woo Hoo...what a ride!" Author Unknown

What a great to live your life.  Though it doesn't seem to be a Christian quote, I see it through the Christian filter.  How wonderful to live a life of serving others and taking the awesome ride called life!

How about the lyric in Lonestar's song "Mountains"?  The good Lord gave us mountains so we could learn how to climb.

Another great mental picture of how life is to be lived.

We would complain that life was boring if we didn't have ups and downs and curves along the way.  I think God knew that.  He's awesome like that.

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 28 The Three Little Pigs Is Not A Fairy Tale}

The Three Little Pigs Is Not A Fairy Tale.

Yes, all words are meant to be capitalized.

It's true.

The big bad wolf is standing outside your door, huffing and puffing and trying to blow your house down.

Will you let him?

Or, will you put on the full armor of God and take charge.  Will you fight?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
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10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Ephesisans 6:10-18

Photo Credit: Google

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 27 The End, Part Two)

Yesterday we left off asking, Would anything change in our lives if we were told we only had a few precious days to live.

I'm a little sad to say that my life would be very different.

I would quit my job and spend as much time with my family as possible.

I would let them know how much I love them.

I would cook a beautiful meal for them.

Maybe take a short vacation.

Tell as many people about Jesus as I could.

I could go on and on.

So, why don't I go on and do that now?  Why do we have to wait until the end to live like we want to live?

Loving this life is not about getting but giving.  It's not about anything of this world except for people.  Other souls.  Precious lives that are hanging in the balance.

I have some things that I will be changing.  Do you?

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 26 The End}

My husband was telling me about a co-worker who received some tragic news recently.

His co-worker went to the doctor and was told he had a thyroid issue.  After visiting a specialist he was told he had stage 4 cancer.  In addition, he was told he only has 4 to 6 weeks to live.

It breaks my heart to hear this and I don't even know this person.

It makes me think too.

How would I live my life if I was told I only had a few precious days left?

Would anything change?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 25 The Frogs}

Today is October 25th.  It is so hard to believe that we are 3/4 through our journey of 31 Days of Loving Life.  I hope you have been encouraged, inspired and even stretched.  I hope you have experienced an aha moment or two.  Ultimately, I hope God has used my little blog in this great big world to speak to you in some way, no matter how small.  During these last few days in this series, I have a few things on my heart, but I'm not sure where God will lead.
Today I want to talk about the recurring problems in life.  The ones that seem to cycle, come and go.  They are thorns in our lives. 
For me, they are a lot like the dog lying on the nail.  The old hound dog was lying on the front porch just howling and moaning.  Someone asked his owner why he didn't do anything to help the poor old dog and he replied, he's laying on a nail and it just doesn't hurt bad enough for him to get up and move.
In my devotion this morning I read about the Egyptian Pharoah with the frog problem.  There were thousands of frogs in his country, maybe millions.  They were everywhere.  The frogs came as a result of a dispute with God over the Israelites.  God sent Moses to speak to the Pharoah:
"When shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses?" “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the LORD our God." Exodus 8:9-10
This was an aha moment for me.
How often do I say tomorrow to God?  How often do I say tomorrow to my problems?  Why wait a moment longer than I have to, to rid myself of my own "plagues"? 
It's time to clear out the frogs!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 24 While I'm Waiting)

What are you supposed to do when we are waiting for the Lord to answer your prayers?  Continue Praying.  Be obedient.  Stay faithful.  Continue to serve Him.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Isaiah 40:31 They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.
I absolutely love the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller.  Below is the video used for Fireproof.  Love the song.  Love the lyrics.  Love the movie.

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 23 Choose Happiness}

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
~ Groucho Marx
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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 22 Everything is A Miracle)

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. "
~ Albert Einstein
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Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 21 Count It All Joy}

Today's post is a little later than normal.  I apologize for keeping you on the edge of your seats! Just kidding!

Back in July, my husband had to have ear surgery.  Sounds very simple, but it was anything but simple.  He had a cholesteatoma deep within his ear that had taken his hearing.  We were terrified.  Worried about the surgery.  Worried about the medical bills.  Worried about him being out of work for several weeks.  Worried that we couldn't make ends meet.  Just a whole bunch of worry.

We knew that God would provide. 

He did. 

We knew that God would provide healing. 

He did.

We cut back on everything.  It was really a luxury to go out to eat, even at a fast food restaurant.  And, not only did we survive, but we thrived.

We enjoyed spending time together as a family.  I became quite spoiled to not having to wake up so early and I loved getting home early too.  We found our church and fell in love with our church family during that time.  My husband was able to spend a lot of time with our son.  We had eight full weekends together as a family.

But, there was a problem.  The tumor was gone, but his hearing didn't improve.  And, it still hasn't.

Today, he met with the surgeon again and has scheduled another surgery for November 15.  And, I'm not worried.  I'm happy.

God provided more than we needed during his last surgery and recovery and I know He is already providing for us now. I see this as an amazing opportunity and blessing. 

Now, I don't have to look at the calender and be disappointed that my husband can't make it to a family Christmas gathering because he has to work. 

I don't have to figure out if we can go as a family to our Christmas program at church.

We can truly enjoy spending this Thanksgiving and Christmas season together as a family.  That's the greatest gift we could ask for.  On our wish list, the success of the surgery and we know God has already provided that too.

- - -

These are the verses that I have clung to during many times of trial I have experienced (various translations):

3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

James 1:2-8
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Philippians 4:19
My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 20 Flying Blind}

Have you ever seen the "God is my Co-Pilot" bumper sticker or tag?

Have you heard the song "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood?

These words became real life for Jim O'Neill in November, 2008.  Jim suddenly became blind while he was piloting his two seater Cessna airplane from Scotland to England.  At first, Jim thought it was temporary and due to the glaring sun, but quickly realized there was a bigger problem.  Jim had suffered a stroke that rendered him completely blind.  Jim was 15,000 feet in the air with no way out. 

Amazingly, with the help of the Royal Air Force and Air Traffic Control, Jim was able to safely land his plane.  The Royal Air Force flew to meet Jim and stayed within 300 feet of his plane and guided him by giving simple instructions, turn right slighly, go up, go down. After three attempts at landing, he did land and was taken to the hospital.  Jim had suffered a stroke and did recover.  (You may read the full story here.)

I love this story.

I love struggle victory stories.

God is right there with you.  All the time.  He gives us those simple instructions that we need to safely land, ie live our lives.  Just like with Jim, we usually only get one step at a time. 

Go this way.

No, that's not a good idea.

Read this book, blog, etc.

Here's a verse to help you.

I am so thankful for that God is ever present in my life.  Are you allowing Him to guide you, or do you question His every instruction?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 19 Excusitis}

Have you ever had a case of excuseitis?  I'm too old.  I'm too young.  I'm overweight.  I'm not smart enough.  I don't have any time. 

Fauja Singh could have said he was too old.  When he was 89 years old he began running marathons.  Yes, that is correct.  89 years old.  Over the weekend he completed his eighth marathon.  In case you don't know, a marathon is 26.2 miles.  Fauja finished in last place, at 8:25.17. 

What stands out most to you in this story?

I certainly hope that it isn't that Fauja came in last place.  I hope that it's the fact that not only did he conquer his own reasons not to run, but I'm sure, he overcame the remarks and opinions of others too.

What an inspiration.

Reminds me of Abraham and Sarah.  God doesn't look at age.  He's ageless.  Timeless.  He doesn't look at any of our other excuses either.  He knows our limitations, but calls us anyway, because He equips us.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phil. 4:13

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 18 The Pumpkin}

This past weekend, while Dylan wasn't feeling his best, we speent the weekend at home.  Normally when we are home I keep the Nick Jr. channel on at a low volume, hoping he will learn all of the positive character qualities they teach as well as math, colors, etc.  Well, this weekend, mommy learned something too!

If you are a mom of a young child, I'm sure you have heard of Franklin.  If not, fyi, Franklin is an adorable little turtle cartoon, check it out, super cute.  Moving on now.  Franklin and his friend Bear had grown a huge pumpkin and wanted to take it to the fiar to be judged.  They were on their way to the fair when tragedy struck.  The pumpkin rolled down the hill and smashed into a tree.  Franklin and Bear were so upset.  I can't blame them, all their hard work ruined.

Then came the life lesson.

Mrs. Muskrat came up on them and saw what happened.  Then she said it.  "Don't worry, everything can be made into something good."

Repeat:  Everything can be made into something good.

What good is a smashed up pumpkin?  It's perfect for ribbon winning pumpkin pie!

Are you broken?  Feel smashed up?  Feel like you have hit a tree head on?  Know that you have good inside you too.

Everything can be made into something good.

I'm learning that being broken isn't always such a bad thing.  It's often the perfect time to share what's on the inside of you that's normally hidden in your shell.

Here's to turning smashed pumpkins into pumpkin pie!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 17 He Understands}

I've always heard that Jesus understands our pain, that while on earth He was tempted and suffered just as we do. It's one thing to hear it and a completely different matter to believe it.

I'm currently reading Max Lucado's new book, God's Story Your Story.  In this book, Max Lucado quotes the verse that is the origin of this saying, and it is quoted in a translation that I've never heard it quoted before.

For our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses.  When he lived on earth, he was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.  Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God's Throne where there is grace.  There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.  Hebrews 4:15-16 NCV

This verse doesn't exactly paint the picture of Jesus sitting on His throne, tapping His fingers and saying, I can't believe she just did that, said that, failed that...again.  No completely opposite.  I'm envisioning Jesus sitting at His throne, looking down with love, saying you can do this, you have what you need to overcome this, I am with you, I have been there.

We all gravitate to people that we have things in common with.  I hope that this verse causes you to gravitate to Jesus more than ever before!

He does understand.

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 16 What's your MO?}

I can hardly believe that we are on Day 16 already! My how the month has flown by!  It will be Christmas before we know it! I LOVE Christmas and fall, so I don't want to rush it!!

Today I'm thinking of my MO.  I used to watch a lot of crime shows, I don't anymore because they are so negative, but I did really love them.  I liked trying to figure out who did it and why.  Clue for television!  In those shows, the police are always searching for the criminals' MO, mode of operation or manner of operation.  Basically, how they choose their crimes, etc.

Yesterday, my baby really didn't feel well when he woke up.  He was just lying around and whimpering and very tired.  The past few days he really hasn't been himself, so much that his nursery school teachers even commented on it.  So, I was already concerned about him.  So when he woke up that way, this momma panicked!  My first reaction, call the doctor!! Something is wrong!

Well, I did call and they referred me to Urgent Care.  Fun.  Always fun to go to the urgent care! I spoke to my husband and decided to wait it out a little bit.  He had no fever and no other symptoms.  Ultimately, he was fine and we didn't go to the doctor.

Afterward, that got me to thinking.  In my life, what is my MO?  What is my reaction?  Do I always panic?  Do I go to God first?  Or do I call my momma, my husband, the doctor? 

Let's say it isn't a negative situation, let's say something really great just happened.  I got a raise or Dylan just said a new word, then what do I do?  Call my husband or my momma? Or do I thank God?

I really believe that I need to change my own MO.  I need to put God in first place, my husband second, my family third and everything else can follow.  I say God is my number one, but my MO has proven that He gets called second or third.

Hmm, a little something to think about.

What's your MO?

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 15 Little Snowdrop}

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day.  So many families experience the loss of a child and many suffer alone.  Below is a poem that I found online, that is a beautiful memorial to the precious little ones that left us too early.

Little SnowdropThe world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says of our love for you.
~ Author Unknown

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Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 14 Meaningless Life}

Photo Credit Sandeep Kumar

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 13 Overcoming Anger & Negative Emotions}

Have you ever been mad at someone?  Really mad?  When you thought back on that time later, did you get mad all over again?

That nasty little cycle is two things: not letting go of the past and is also insanity.  Have you heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results?  It's true.

I am a stuffer.  I tend to stuff my feelings instead of dealing with them.  I don't want to argue.  I don't want to talk about it.  I hope that I can stuff it, say it will be ok tomorrow and then pray that it will be.  Well, lets just say that doesn't work too often.  Nope, sure doesn't.

Whenever I see the person or am reminded of the situation, I am flooded again by frustration, sadness, you name it.   So how do I deal with it?

Pray.  God's Word directs us to pray for our enemies.  I don't believe that is just our arch enemies.  I believe it is also the things or people that rub us the wrong way and bring out the worst in us.  Then I pray for myself. I need strength to deal with this problem and that strength can only come from the Lord.

The formula is simple.  The answer is only a few short words:

1 Thessalonians 5:13 Pray without ceasing.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 12 A Godly Husband}

Today is a very special day.  It is my husbands birthday!

To honor him, I'm sharing the traits of a godly husband that I recently read.  Although the list could be longer, these are a great foundation.

1. A wise husband is kind and compassionate.
2. A wise husband is honest.
3. A wise husband is hard working.
4. A wise husband is truthful.
5. A wise husband exercises self control.
6. A wise husband is a man of integrity.
7. A wise husband is faithful and reliable.

I am so very thankful for the blessing that my husband is to our family.  I will be praying these traits over my husband, not because he lacks them, but because I love him and want to raise him up!

See you tomorrow!

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 11 When You Are Between A Rock and A Hard Place}

Do you ever wonder where God is during your struggles?  Do you question His love for you?  If you do, then these verses should answer those questions and confirm how deep the love of God is for you!

Isaiah 43 The Message
When You're Between a Rock and a Hard Place

1-4 But now, God's Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
   the One who got you started, Israel:
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
   I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
   When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
   it won't be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
   The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
   all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That's how much you mean to me!
   That's how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
   trade the creation just for you.

Thank you Lord for your love.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 10 Love Knows No Borders}

If you are new to my blog, I am joining with over 700 bloggers in the 31 Day Series.  We have all committed to blogging about our passions for the month of October.

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- - -

Did you choose someone to encourage yesterday?  Didn't it feel amazing to do something for someone else that was unexpected?  Are you wanting to help others now?  Me too.

Recently, we sponsored our first child through Children International. 

(Side note: I researched many child sponsorship programs before deciding to sponsor with Children International.  You can find them at

I searched and searched for our sponsor child.  It was really important to me that we find a little boy near Dylan's age that shared the same birthday as Dylan.  I thought it would be a great connection for them to have their birth date in common.

I chose Jerson from Guatemala City, Guatamala.  Jerson is such a precious little boy.  Cocoa brown skin, charcoal black hair and the sweetest little smile.  Jerson is two years older than Dylan, he will be four soon.

Jerson lives with his parents and two brothers in a cinder block house.  The family lives on $150 per month.  One hundred and fifty dollars per month!! 

It breaks my heart!  We now call him our adopted child.  Dylan has learned his name and we tell him that Jerson is his brother.  Dylan is so cute when he hugs and kisses his picture.

When I think of the life Jerson and his family live, I feel guilty for the times that I am unhappy with my life.  Or am not thankful.  Or when I take my life for granted.

You see, we now know someone living ina third world poverty life.  Everything has changed.  We see our riches.  We are rich beacause our house doesn't have a dirt floor.  We are rich because we both have jobs. We are rich because our son doesn't go to bed hungry or dirty or in need of necessities.

Through meeting Jerson, our family is learning to look at our blessings in a completely different light.

Love knows no borders, do you?

If you have never considered child sponsorship, I pray that you would.  So many precious little ones are praying for a sponsor to choose them at this very moment. 

For more information on Children International, please visit

**This post represents my own opinions and have not been requested nor compensated by anyone.**

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31 Days of Loving Life {Day 9 Be Something To Someone}

You can't be all things to all people, but you can be something to someone.

We all have obligations (most likely up to our ears!) but think of how wonderful the world would be if we all dedicated a snipet of time each day to love on someone else!  It doesn't have to take a lot of time.  A quick email, a short tweet, a simple facebook message, only take moments, and could completely turnaround someone's day.

Like the single mom that is so overwhelmed or our friend that has been sick for a while.  Or our friend from college that is struggling in their marriage or our neighbor who has just lost their job.  You don't have to look far to find someone to bless with your words of encouragement.

You don't even have to say much.  Simply, I'm thinking of you, would mean a lot.

When you step out and love someone else, you will reap a bounty of love for yourself to.

So, who will you choose today?

- - -

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 8 The Butterfly}

Just when the caterpillar thought life was over, it became a butterfly.

I found this story online and wanted to share.  It perfectly illustrates the need to face challenges in life.
"A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.
We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
I asked for Strength.........
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom.........
And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity.........
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage.........
And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love.........
And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors.........
And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ........
I received everything I needed!
Trust in God. Always.
I pray you immerge from you cocoon as the most beautiful butterfly the world has ever seen!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 7 Dreams}

Dreams are to life like oil to a lamp - they fuel the flame.

Do you have a dream?

Or, has it been a while since you allowed yourself to dream?  Has life left you a little bruised?  If so, now is the time to release those hurts to God. 

God can, and will, use those trials and hurts that you have endured for His glory.

God places dreams in each of us.  He has specific plans in mind for each of us.  Do you cultivate the dreams that He has given you?  Feed those dreams.  Give life to them.  Chase them.  Allow them to take wings and fly.

There are two reasons why people choose to squelch their dreams.  Either they are afraid of failure or they are afraid of success.

God has placed your dreams inside you to fulfill His plan.  he chose you for this purpose.  God doesn't change.  He is the same, always.  Even if you choose not to fulfil your destiny, it will still be done.  God will raise someone else to fill your calling.  Don't be the person who refused God's plan for you.

Allow your dreams to take flight.  The Lord will lead you.  He promised.

Proverbs 16:9 Amp

A mans mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

The Lord is going to lead you, guide you, direct you.  Even things that you think are impossible, are not.  He will work supernaturally on your behalf.

So, dream again.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interruption: 31 Days of Loving Life {How I Pray}

I'm sneaking in this post during my 31 Days of Loving Life series to share How I Pray.

I love prayer.  It is 1 on 1 communication with God.  No hype.  No show. Just talking, sharing, sometimes questioning, always thanking.

I am so awestruck how personal God is.  So personal that He gave us the gift of prayer. 

Here are some definitions of prayer from  

1. a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2. a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
3. the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
4. a formula or sequence of words used in or appointed for praying: the Lord's Prayer.
5. prayers, a religious observance, either public or private, consisting wholly or mainly of prayer.

I love that prayer is spiritual communion with God.  Communion is a community act of sharing.  I'm not the only one participating.  God is there with me, participating too. 

A youth pastor once said that God's phone number is Jeremiah 33:3.  I've always remembered it.

Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

God is there waiting to listen and have communion with you.  Will you call Him?  He will answer.

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 6 If I had my life to live over}

“If I had my life to live over
I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculped like a rose before it melted
in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more
while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's" and more "I'm sorry's"

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . .
look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back.”

Erma Bombeck

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 5 Life is Like A Coin}

Life is like a coin.  You can spend itany way you wish, but you can only spend it once. | Lillian Dickson

How do you want to spend your life?

When it is all said and done, and you look back, what would you like to see?

I would like to hear the words, "Well done".  I do not want to look back in regret or sorrow.

As Erma bombeck says:

"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me."

What a beautiful picture of a life well spent.

You hold your own coin in your hands.

How will you spend it?

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life {Day 4 Steps To Happiness}

Day 4 Steps to Happiness

If you missed Day 3, please click here.

Over the past few days we have seen how discontentment robs us of the ability to be happy and to love life.  Today, I would like to explore the steps to happiness. 

The current sermon series at my church is The Church Revealed from Revelation.  Sunday's text is the perfect starting point for today.

Revelation 2:5(b) Repent and do.
The three steps that our pastor outlined for "Repent and Do" are:

Repent first and then:

1. Change Your Mind

2. Change Your Heart

3. Change Your Actions

The first step, Change Your Mind, is the foundation that we must lay to reach the height of our happiness.  You must choose to be happy.  Happy isn't a given. 

Every day we can choose to be happy or we can choose to be unhappy. 

No, we don't see it as a choice at the moment we are forced to choose, but it is a choice.  A choice has to be made.  Don't let your circumstances make the choice for you.

Changing your mind is a choice that only you can make.  And, be warned, it's a choice you will need to continue to make.

The second step, Change your heart, is the center of the solution.  The core.  It's the glue that holds it all together.

To change your heart you need to spend time in the Word and in prayer.  You probably won't see a transfiguration of your heart overnight, but one day, you will look back in amazement at the change that has taken place.

In addition to scripture study and prayer, you can also read Christian devotions and books or listen to cds.

I'm a huge fan of Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland.  They both combine teaching and encouragement through daily emails, which I love.

When your heart changes, your will see that your entire life will begin to change.

The third step of the process is Change Your Actions. 

You may not like to read books or devotions.  Maybe you don't like to listen to teaching cds or itunes.  This is part of the change in your actions. 

Take it one step at a time.  Doing a little will eventually add up to a lot.

We may not have full control of our circumstances but we do have full control of our actions.

I have applied these very same steps in my life and continue to do so even now. 

To be honest, I don't recognize the person I was 10 years ago.  For that, I am extremely thankful.  I wasn't happy with who I was then, and I'm still not happy with that person now.  But, can I tell you something?  That person is no more.  I am so much happier with the person I am today and the person I am continually growing to be.

Join me?

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Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life: Day 3: I Want What I Want

Welcome to Day 3 of 31 Days of Loving Life.

Today's topic is: I Want What I Want.

Will you think back on yesterdays' reflective questions?

During your times of discontentment...

What was it that I felt I was missing out on?

What was my initial reaction? Sadness? Anger? Bitterness? Resentment?

When I think back on this situation, do I feel any of those emotions now?
While these questions are fresh in your mind, let's read the story of Cain and Abel:

Genesis 4: 2-8:
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
I believe the proverbial straw that broke the camels' back was when God looked at Abel's offering favorably but not Cains. 

Cain's emotion was anger.  An anger so severe that he committed murder.  Not just any murder, but the murder of his own brother.

Being the older brother, I think Cain probably felt some sense of entitlement; that he should have the easier job. 

Clearly, Cain is hungering for something more.

Discontentment was the catalyst of Cain's sin.

As a coincidence, we were discussing this chapter last week in our small group study at church.  I love the way our pastor's wife described this hunger for something more.  "I want what I want."

It's true isn't it?  We want what we want.  Me. Me. Me. 

Can we be honest with ourselves? 

I mean really honest.

When we get what we want, how long are we actually satisfied?  As the saying goes, until the new wears off!  For me, that's usually not more than a few months, at the longest.

Why is that?  I believe the answer is found in 1 John 2:15-16:

 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

God didn't make us to be in some rat race chasing the next trend or to keep up with the Joneses.

As a pastor once said, the church is God's plan A.  That's you and me.

God wants to prosper us.  He wants us to be happy, peaceful, loving.  God isn't against us having stuff. God is against us placing more value on our stuff than on Him and His people.

Reflection for today: How do you define happiness?  When you think of the perfect life, what does it look like?

We are just getting going on this journey.  I hope you will continue to stick with me.  We are laying the foundation for loving life!

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days of Loving Life: Day 2: The Beginning

Welcome to Day 2 of 31 Days of Loving Life!  If you have missed Day 1, please read it here.

I'd like to begin today's post with scripture.  It's several verses, but read them all.  They paint the picture of the first discontentment of man.

Genesis 3:1-7

 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Maybe you are thinking, "Wow, I can't believe anyone could be discontent in the Garden of Eden.  It's the Garden of Eden for goodness sakes!".

Well, maybe that's just what I'm thinking.  But, it was literal Heaven on earth. 

No sickness.

No tears.

No anger.

Only fellowship with God and your perfect mate. 

I try my best to imagine it, but I know it was better than the best I can imagine.  Way better.

I absolutely love how Ann Voskamp describes this story in her book, One Thousand Gifts.

"Satan, he wanted more.  More power, more glory.  Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate.  And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden.  Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude.  Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.

Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?

Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.  We hunger for somehting more, something other."

I have to be honest, these few words have rocked my world.  They have ripped open the veil of my selfishness and made me truly look at myself. 

The catalyst of all my sins is ingratitude. 

Now, I'm not trying to say that because you feel discontentment in your life that you are sinning. 

The point I am trying to make is that it is a slippery slope.  And, you best get your hiking boots on if you dare to disembark it.

For today, will you do a little self examination?  Will you think back on those times in your life when you felt most discontented and ask yourself these questions:

What was it that I felt I was missing out on?

What was my initial reaction?  Sadness? Anger? Bitterness? Resentment?

When I think back on this situation, do I feel any of those emotions now?

I hope you will join me again tomorrow as we continue our 31 Day journey!

I'm praying for each of you friends!

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31 Days of Loving Life: Day 1 Welcome

Welcome to 31 Days of Loving Life!

I must admit, I wasn't going to hop on the #31Days train.  But, I feel like God is leading me through this, so I am jumping on board!

I welcome your comments and feedback and look forward to taking this journey with you.

As a side note, this blog will be moving to a permanent home soon!  The new site is

Now, let's get this train rolling!

In my life I have experienced some terrible seasons of discontentment.  I hate those seasons.  They are so uncomfortable, even painful. 

It is my prayer that as I share my heart, God's truth and my experiences with you, that you will find contentment in your life.

Did you just cringe when I said contentment?  Don't worry, I did too.

Why is it that the mere mention of being content or contentment bring up thoughts of living in lack and settling for second best?

Do you know that the definition of contentment is : the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.

Hmm, ease of mind makes me think peace.  Peace.  Oh, I like that.  Total peace.  Makes me take a deep breath just thinking about it.

Do you also know that a synonym of contentment is happiness?  Yep, it's true.  Happiness. 

I defintately don't tie hapiness together with lack and settling.

As we continue through our journey we are going to delve deeper into learning that being content with where you are (on your way to where your going) is wonderful.  It's a place of peace and happiness.  Inhale. Exhale. 

I hope you join us!

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