Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Yay! School starts back up on Thursday of this week. With the hustle and bustle of getting ready for day one, there is the anticipation of getting life back to normal. Whatever that means! But I can feel it! It has been a good summer, with day camp and plenty of activities for the two younger ones, and work and friend time for the older. As summer break draws to a close though, I believe they are ready for the next year to begin also.
Sooooooo......what have I learned this summer? How have I grown in the Lord? What have I done for him? Well, I got a new job that He gave me, and I have had to do some serious soul searching to really believe it is from Him. The banking business is HARD!!!! It is like no other job I have ever had, and there are some days I have to just KNOW that this is what God wants me to do. I do get encouragement from Him, sometimes barely enough to get me by, other times clear and direct. I will stay strong in this area and allow Him to lead me.
How about running my house while holding down a full time job? Well that has proved to be just as hard. Being a mom and wife is not for the faint at heart. I have had to get organized, and mean. (Dont ask my family about this, they will just laugh) However, I did manage to get a chore list written up for daily routines. It is not perfect, and I have to tweak it some days to make it work, but at least it is there. I even included allowance, and stipulations on receiving it. So far I only have 1 child who will get a full paycheck on payday. The other 2 will learn, and quickly I might add, if we have another morning like this morning. Seems one of the kids did not get the kitchen clean to my satisfaction last night. Surprise Surprise. She was up with the birds and an attitude of indignation this morning at 6 A.M. Makes me smile to think about my clean kitchen I have already been cooking in this morn. There is nothing more awful than waking to a dirty kitchen to start the day. I'm guessing she is thinking that too!!! Hopefully that is a lesson learned. The other one will learn on payday, as he likes his money. He is not going to be a happy little guy, as he will only get 1/2 pay for the work he has done. So, cover your ears come Friday. That wail of despair you hear is an 8 year old learning a valuable lesson. (About a dollar a day)!!
This week we will begin back to a regular bed time routine (Help me, Lord) starting at 9 p.m for the 2 little ones. The backpacks are full and brimming over with supplies, and weigh as much as the kids. It is absolutely delightful to watch their happy little faces when they get new supplies to start the new year. I dont like having to shop for them or pay for them, but the end result is well worth it. When the kids are happy, I am happy. I believe God feels that way too.
Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
We had a sermon on this a bit back, and it is a verse I have been contemplating for quite some time. I am always looking around for ways to enjoy Him. The grass that grows, the flowers that bloom, His words that are alive in my life. I want to live with a purpose for Him. He has shown me things, shown me His purpose for my life. Everyday I am trying hard to live out that purpose. I don't think there will ever come a day, until I die, that I will feel as if I have arrived. Everyday is something new, something to learn, a chance to grow closer to Him. I do delight in the Lord, and know that his purpose for my life is GOOD, and will fulfill me, and no matter how hard or alone I feel at times, I am not. He is there, guiding me, disciplining me, holding me, loving me, just as I am trying to do with my children right now. I wail at times like my son, I am filled with indignation like the 6 A.M kitchen cleaner, and I am happy at times like the one who will receive the full allowance on pay day. I AM A CHILD OF GOD. There is no other like Him.

Monday, July 14, 2008


The Heart Of Worship

When the music fades, All is stripped away
And I simply come, longing just to bring
Something that's of worth, That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song, For a song in itself
Is not what You have required .You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear, You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus.I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it.
When it's all about You. It's all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth, No one could express
How much you deserve. Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours, Every single breath.

I'll bring you more than a song. I'll bring you more than a song
More than a song. I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song. You're looking into my heart
Looking into my heart. You're looking into my heart. Into my heart
I'll bring you more than a song.

I'm on the worship team at church. We sang this on Sunday, and I knew there would come another day I would sing this song for my Lord. I'm hoping to show a little bit of my heart in this post, though I will never be able to express my thoughts exactly. It will be a tough one for me, I think. This song brings back many memories, not all of them good, but memories none the less. When I first started going to church several years back I wanted to be on the worship team more than anything. It is my passion, and I hope one of my spiritual gifts. There is nothing in the world like worshipping my King. The worship team at this particular church had a name, they were called "More Than A Song."

I put in my application. I had to be approved. I had to audition, no big deal. I made the team. There were several parts to the application process I was soon to find out. Being able to hit a note was not the only requirement. I had to make it to the practices, learn some harmony, etc... I had to attend so many church services, Wednesdays and Sundays. I had to serve somewhere in the church on a regular basis, and all kinds of other good stuff. All to worship my God on the platform. We didn't call it a stage because, we were not performers. Being on the worship team meant being an upfront leader, and carried alot of responsibility. I just wanted to sing, and worship my Lord. No other kind of music has ever touched me the way worship music does.
So I did all of this for a couple of years. We moved an hour away round trip from the church and I would drive it 2 times on Sunday, and then again on Wednesday's, and whenever there was something else I was required to attend. I was involved in the kid's ministry even though I had no clue what I was doing. I joined the prayer team during the 1st service. I attended the 2ND service and we would pray over the 1st service as it was going on. I enjoyed the prayer time.

It is no wonder why after a couple of years of this kind of commitment things went way South. I was tired, and my family suffered. My husband didn't attend church. he was angry that the church required so much of my time. I tried to explain it to him. I tried to make him understand. He couldn't understand why I had to do all of this to be on some worship team. I ought to be able to go to church and sing if that's what I wanted to do, without all of the legal requirements, and attendance charts. I finally had to step down. It broke my heart to give that up. I was mad that I couldn't do what I wanted more than almost anything. It wasn't possible to want something so much and not be able to have it. It wasn't fair that God wouldn't make a way.
I quit going to church after that. There were alot of other things going on, probably the hardest time in my life. A time when I needed to cling close to God, and could not. How was it possible to do all of this hard work and not be able to worship??
We started going to a new church here in Hollister. They have a fantastic worship team. I wanted to be on it from day one, and would not allow myself. I think God had a hand in it. I was to be patient and wait upon Him, and His timing. Every week I would tell my Hubby how much I wanted to be on the worship team, and he would tell me to do it. I could not. The timing was not right. I had to get my whole life right with God before I would even allow myself to think about it. I had to be Holy, because He is Holy. It is what I was taught.
Well, that's going to take me a lifetime, and then some. I am never going to be Holy enough. Even my best is dirty rags. I finally came to a realization that it was time. Not because I deserved it, but because God deserves my worship. My best, my all. I did have to get some areas of my life right with Him before I would allow myself, and I did it. I tend to be a person anymore who holds the leaders in our church to a higher standard. Do I understand if they mess up? Do I forgive if they need it? Do I pray for them, and help hold them accountable, while still loving them? Well, didn't Jesus do that for me? Yes.
On Saturday I started to question whether I still deserved my spot on this team. Not for any particular reason, just a self check. Have I done enough lately to earn it? Have I attended enough church events? I went to practice on Sunday morning with a heavy heart, knowing I didn't deserve it. Then I learned we were singing this song. I knew it was satan trying to convince me of his lies, and I put him in his place. For the first time in a long time I knew I was where I belonged, worshipping the Lord, and pouring my heart out to him. Trying hard to empty myself of me and filling up on Him. What a joy, a light heartedness, a freedom I felt all day. Even though my best will never be good enough, I will try to always bring "More than a Song

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independance Day

It is Independance Day weekend. For me that means 3 days off! Yeah! I need it so bad. So far I have been able to go through some closets and get a few large bags of stuff hauled away to Goodwill. It's not done yet, but I'm getting closer! I am learning to find a place for everything, and everything in it's place. It is more out of necessity for my sanity above all, and the steps I have taken are starting to show!

We had a lovely family day yesterday, July 4th. Actually only 3 of us, but a family day none the less. My little Mischief (Ms Tiff, my 11 yr old) is off visiting her Grammy and Granny in Kansas for 3 weeks, and oh how I miss her. I call her almost everyday and ask her if she is ready for me to come get her. She is not. So I will be without her until July 15th, 2 days before her 12th birthday. However much I miss her though, my house stays cleaner, quieter, and less chaotic. I DONT LIKE IT! It amazes me how much one member of the family contributes to every aspect of daily living.

We went to watch the fireworks in downtown Hollister last night. Me, hubby, and Hunter. We took Jeff's new pickup, let down the tailgate and covered it with a blanket. I have never seen a 4th of July firewrks show as good as the one we saw last night. For starters, we are surounded by the beautiful Ozark Mountains, and the echo of each one was almost deafening! It was simply amazing. They put on about a 20 minute show, and each time you thought it was time for the finale they would shoot off more. One thing different that I have never seen, that gave me much Pride, was at the end, after the finale of beautiful lights, they had a 21 gun salute with the loudest fireworks I have ever been privy too. Hunter and I talked a little about what the day meant, about how it was a celebration of our freedom, and what it meant to live free in America. I had terars in my eyes because of the sense of pride I felt for our our beautiful country, our service men, and the freedoms we tend to take for granted. Also the price that was paid, from our Veterans. I thank these men and women from the bottom of my heart.

Yesterday was also our baby niece Emily's 1st birthday. She died February 10th, 2008 at 7 months old. The tears I shed were also in remembrance of her and her family that will miss her until the day we go to be with Jesus. I can not cry for Emmy, she is where I want to be. She is with out Lord and Saviour, walking those streets of gold, in a land of milk and honey, where there is no sorrow, no suffering, no pain. I remember her as the beautiful little baby girl she was that touched so many lives, and changed some for the better. However, her Mom and Dad, and 4 brothers and sisters I will hold close to my heart, and continue to pray for their healing, for good to come from the testimony that they have for Baby Emily.

Well until next time, God be with all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Visit from the devil

With the Bible in hand into bed did I creep To read a few chapters before going to sleep
As my eyelids grew heavy I heard a faint sound I held onto the good book and turned around
I saw a slight movement come out of the night
I jumped with a start and was consumed with fright
In my room stood a figure menacing and tall His motion was fluid like a shadow on the wall
He stared at me with two piercing eyes and said "Put down the book, stop reading those lies
My master has sent me to get rid of this lark I am an agent of Lucifer the prince of the dark
"I see you are reading in Genesis and Acts More of God's ramblings, now here are the facts Adam and Eve are a myth, they are God's fairy tale
Your ancestors were not human, you once had a tail
"Man was not created, it took many eons of time
You have really evolved from a minute piece of slime
I am known as the destroyer, and Apollyon is my name
Listen to my plans of destruction, the reason I came
"I will infiltrate your churches, and set up the stage
To replace the old time religion with mine the New Age
Forget God's Commandments, put your mind at ease
You can form your own destiny and do as you please
"Why bother with God when you are Number One
Your father's not in Heaven, he's in Washington
I will replace prayers with psychics and make astrology the craze
It will be the same as Babylon back in the good old days
"I will fill up the movies with sex, language and gore
Until is seems like the norm and the people want more
Then I'll bring it all in your homes and put it on TV
On daytime and prime time so the children can see
"Why believe in marriage and spending life with just one
There are many fish in the ocean and swinging is fun
Stop being so pious, it's square to be pure Fear not the diseases for which there's no cure
"Feel free to party and partake of love's portion and lure
And if pregnancy results, there's always abortion
It's not really a child, it's only a fetus that's dead
Let's kill off the children, and save the whales instead
"I took prayers out of the schools and brought condoms in
The kids won't know the difference of what's Holy and what's sin
I'll keep the prisons overflowing and justice from the courts
Your streets will be a war zone, your homes will be forts
"Do not believe in the Holy Spirit as the One who is just
Instead of looking for angels, try some angel dust
I will peddle narcotics in the cities and hills Talking to me is so easy, just pop a few pills
"I will print porno of all sorts and send it through the mail
The courts will allow it, we'll keep it upscale
The commercials and ads will revolve around sex Until infidelity and rape become a reflex
"I will set up your lifestyle so both parents must work
While in gangs and on the streets their children will lurk
Families will break up, the divorce rate will be high I'll make money a problem and all it can buy "You will need alcohol and pills to relieve all your stress
Your mind will be a wasteland for my demons to possess
I will take away your morals and your work ethics too
I will subdue my enemy -- and my enemy is you"
When he finished his tirade he kept leering at me I was now full of rage but had to agree
The things that he talked about were now taking place
His ultimate goal is to destroy the human race
I felt a strength come from within, I lost all sense of fear
This devil cannot hurt me, the Holy Spirit is here
My body is God's Temple, and I will not let it be soiled
For greater is He that's in me than he that's of the world
Still holding the Bible I opened the good book To Revelation chapter 20, hey devil, take a look
An angel is going to bind Satan and throw him in a pit
And for one thousand years that's where he'll sit
He's then removed from the pit and thrown into a fire-filled pool
Where he will burn for eternity to pay for his misrule
He will experience the ultimate pain with the rest of his crew
When this happens to your boss, where does that leave you?
Now what's that you said, the Bible is God's fairy tale?
Listen to me now, devil, some facts I will unveil
The Bible is the true word of God and I can prove it to you
By all His fulfilled prophecies and the existence of the Jew
God said many times He would return His people to their land
And it's happening right now, don't you understand
For twenty-five hundred years, His people had to roam
Now they're coming back to Israel, back to their home
Many times has the world tried to kill off the Jew
But they have survived their enemies, does that give you a clue?
God said "I will make an end of all nations among which I scattered you"
Now tell me, devil, what has happened to Persia, Assyria and Babylon too?
Where is Edom and Moab and Ammon today?
The Philistines have vanished, what more can I say
Many countries that suppressed the Jews no longer exist
This is a fact that cannot be dismissed
But Israel is still here and as strong as before
Far outnumbered by their enemies yet they win every war
They became a nation again, back in May of '48
God foretold this in Isaiah chapter 66 verse 8 The Lord picked the Jews as His chosen race
And after thousands of years they survived by His grace
No other country of people have a history that long
How can such a tiny nation be so powerfully strong?
Many prophecies in the Bible predicted the coming of Christ
About His birth and His life and that He'd be sacrificed
Over fifty prophecies on Jesus and all of them fulfilled
You look a little sick, devil, how come you're not thrilled?
Archaeology has proven the Bible with findings of long ago
From the city of Babylon to the walls of Jericho
The stone of Pontious Pilate and the scrolls of the Dead Sea
The letters of Lachish and the obelisk of Shalmaneser III
The Cyrus Cylinder and the tombstone of Uzziah,
The Assyrian king records and the tunnel of Hezekiah
Hey what's the matter, devil, now you don't look so tall
If all this is not enough, how about the Western Wall?
As I continued my rebuttal, I saw the devil start to weaken
He had no answers for me, I could see he was beaten
I looked him square in the eyes and applied the final thrust
I knew the following words would turn him to dust I rebuke you, evil one, be gone from my sight You may be from the darkness but I am a child of the light
You think you can enter my home and do anything that pleases
Get out of here devil -- in the name of Jesus
His cry was a shrill, more like a scream He disappeared from sight, it was all a bad dream
I looked out the window and saw the sunlight Good riddance to you, you prince of the night
Now I warn all of you, I'm sounding the alarm
Do not shake hands with Satan, you will lose your right arm
He roams the streets like a lion looking for prey
He will be the prince of this world until the Lord's Day
But the Lord's Day is at hand and Satan's running out of time
He knows when Jesus returns, he'll pay for his crime
The final combat is coming and friends I'm not kidding
Get on the Lord's side now before the Battle of Armageddon
Many prophecies have been fulfilled in the last fifty years
That lead to the end times and it certainly appears
With the increase in earthquakes, pestilence, famine and war
This generation may see Jesus as written in Matthew twenty-four
Look around you my friends and see what's going on today
Parents ignoring their children and children who disobey
The profanity and violence and the moral decay
All this belongs to Satan, this is not the Lord's way
The Rapture could be any second when Jesus comes for His Church
Be prepared for that moment, give yourself time for research
When the saved leave the earth, there will be no goodbyes
Don't be left standing here with tears in your eyes
Turn your life over to Jesus, let your flesh be slain
To free you from sin, He went through suffering and pain
To spend eternity in Heaven should be your full-time quest
Remember the years here on earth are only a test
Turn your life over to Jesus, I'll say it again
I'll shout it over the mountains and through every glen
The Lord will be judging all sinners and those who backslide
And believe me, my friends, there's no place you can hide
Stop and listen, good people, He is calling to you To put off the old and to put on the new
To bring Jesus in your life and be freed of Satan's snare
Just say the following words from this simple prayer:
"Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, come into my heart Wash away my sins, give me a new start
You are the Son of the Living God, I give my life to you
Fill me with your presence, with a spirit that's new
"That's all it takes to bring Jesus in your life To get rid of Satan's yoke and all of the strife
If you say this with meaning, then His Presence you'll feel
The Holy Spirit will be there, and you'll be under His seal

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Be Still and Know that He is God

Oh, where to begin today. I need to write. I am on overload, and this is my outlet.
Sing praise. Thats what I need to do first.

Would you be free from your burden of sin. There's power in the blood, power in the blood. Would you oe'r evil the victory win. There's wonderful power in the blood.
There is power, power, wonder working power, in the blood, of the lamb. There is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the lamb.

I've been singing it all week. It is all that is getting me through right now. I know God is working, but I'm not seeing it much right now. I am having to walk in faith. I'm exhausted from training at my job, coming home and cleaning, cooking, and raising a family, not to mention all the other activities we have going on. Do some need to go?

I am trying hard to come up with a routine. I'm failing. I feel like I'm drowning. I am not used to working a full 40 hour week. I have been spoiled for too long I guess. I about broke down in tears at work today from all the stress, and that is not like me at all. I am tough. I work well under pressure. So what happened to me today????

As I left work at lunch to run an errand, I was almost in a panic attack. I forgot to grab my sandwich, so I didnt even get to eat, which made my mood a little worse, but I am realizing that sometimes that's just how it goes. When I returned to work though I had more of a feeling of calm and peace than I have had all week, and there is no explanation for it in my mind. Except that He has the whole world in His hands.

Today is Wednesday, church day, and I didnt get to go because my boy had baseball practice. I went in and talked to Pastor D for a few minutes while dropping off my girl. I just needed a shoulder, and God provided. Pastor D gave me a verse, and I am carrying it with me.

Psalm 46:10 (New King James Version)
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Every aspect of my life is in emotional turmoil right now. I am DESPERATE for peace. I am in a time of crying out to my Lord, "God, I can't take anymore." I need Him first to teach me how to be still. How to just shut off the emotion, the frustration, and yes, even anger.
I wish I could just blurt all here, but out of love and respect, and honour, I can not.
I'm thinking I'm just rattling on here, and while maybe confusing to the reader, it is beneficial to me. I am getting answers as I write.
The first thing that comes to mind: Am I taking care of Stephanie? Nope. I'm not eating right, I'm not prioritizing, I'm not disciplining. I'm not having quiet time with my Bible, and when I lay down at night I'm not spending time with my Lord. I'm thinking over the days' frustration, what I didnt get done, bills, who I'm mad at, etc....

No wonder I have no peace. I have to do something different. A chore chart for the kids, with consequences for not doing them. Thats the discipline. Getting up 5 minutes earlier to have quiet time with my Bible. These are little things that I can do right now that will make a huge difference. I'm "still" right now, focused on the state of my spiritual health. It's the medicine I need to get back to where I belong. I think I will end right now with this, and take a huge dose of it. I'm getting out my Bible, let the day rest, and be still knowing that He is God.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Standing on His Promise

Isaiah 41:10 (New International Version)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

How is it that you can be going through life one day and everything is absolutely marvelous, not a care in the world, except for continuing to stay on the path that God has set before you. The next day you feel like you've been ran over by a mac truck, with not one problem but a series of things that you just never even saw coming. Ok, some you did, but they seemed to get worse as others arose. That is my life right now.

I have been working really hard at getting trained with my new job, learning to make new routines at home to fit my new full time hours, and still make the time for the family activities that have become so important to our family. It has been stressful, especially the day when the crockpot decided to quit on me, but for the most part I have enjoyed the challenge, and I am learning to be more efficient.

This last weekend I had some things arise that stopped me in my tracks. Things that have me questioning the path I KNOW IN MY HEART THAT GOD HAS SET BEFORE ME. I know these things because I have prayed extensively over them, and I have checked them against God's Holy word. I am learning to be obedient, and joyful to the tasks set before me, even housework. I am bearing fruit like never before, and I am just delighted in doing God's work. I even have tentative plans to go on my very first mission trip next year, I believe to Honduras, to an orphanage.

I know these are usually the times when satan works hard. He has tried and tried to get me to fail again, and while he has not succeeded in winning the war, sometimes he gets the small victories. I have allowed him a window here the last couple of days. The situations that have arisen are not my doing, but ultimately they are my problems now. How I handle them will be very important. This is a time when I have to reach deep inside and find what really matters. Realize where my own selfishness fits in, and put guilt in its rightful place. The first thing I had to do was reach out for outside help. I do not do well with this one. I am a stubborn proud person who doesnt like to admit defeat. Right now, I feel defeated, I feel like a failure, and I have not a lot of joy. The window I talked of earlier.

Actually, before I asked for outside help, I sat down and prayed. I thanked God for the trials that were before me, the struggles that will one day be just a memory. I know God holds me with His rightous hand. When I called my older sister for help, she didnt sugar coat things for me. She lives for God too. He directed me to her. I didnt like what she had to say, but knew it was truth, and it has helped my thinking to be clearer. She came into my life when I was 16, she was 19. My mother had put her up for adoption when she was born. I knew about her most of my younger years, and knew I would know her one day. I couldnt stand her when I was 16. She had encroached upon my territory, and it was just a really hard time for me. She is my mothers daughter, and my Dad had a brand new baby girl shortly after I had met my older sister. I was always the only girl. Just here the last couple of months we have started talking again. Both of us have had to do some serious prayer over our relationship, and where God wants us to go with it. When he answered my prayer the other morning and told me to call her at 7:30 am, I knew where He wants us to go with it. It will be a slow process, and should be. It takes a long time to build a strong bond, but we are getting closer every day. I love her.

I know the Lord is with me through this time. I will struggle with being dismayed, because I am human, but He has promised to strengthen me and help me. Through His strength I will be less and less dismayed. I am still fairly new at learning to trust Him, but He has never failed me. I will contnue to praise Him, even through my tears, and anger, and frustration. For I know the joy comes in the mourning. Thank you, Father.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Lord's Answer

2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I just blogged about this verse, in my post titled "My Answer". I have had this verse on my heart for a few days. I understand now.
I'm tired and think I may have the stomach flu, yet I want to blog about this so badly! It may not be a great read, but that's OK.
I started my new job on Tuesday of this week. So far it has been terribly boring and I have had to fight to stay awake. Not a good way to start a new job! However, they are short staffed, and the lady that is my main boss is on vacation, so there is really nobody to train me. They have put me back in the bookkeepers office to watch them do their jobs. I think starting Monday there should be a little more for me to learn. I came home after day 1 and told my hubby I had learned so much, but couldn't say for sure exactly what I had learned. I found out it's a whole lot of nothing! At least how it pertains to my job anyway.

I have been praying over the job situation for some time. It finally came to a point where I was praying over which one to accept. I was so blessed in the fact that I had a choice of where I wanted to work, and there are other people who are struggling to find a job. I kept asking the Lord to give me something, a sign, a word, anything, to let me know where he wanted me. I wasn't getting anything. It was one of those times where I had to walk in faith, and hope I was making the right decision. It wasn't until I walked in the door of my first day on the job that I got my answer. Actually it became an affirmation. The verse posted above, that I had blogged about a few days ago, is posted behind the teller desk in beautiful bold large letters. I don't know how I missed it the other times I was in there. I did though.

Things are going well so far. It is a different world from the Showboat. My new job called me to offer me the position, and I had to call my boss at the Showboat to give my notice. It was a bittersweet moment. I loved my job there, and met some really neat people. I will miss it. When I called my boss, she told me things were very slow out there and people were begging to work. She let me go with out having to work my last 2 weeks. She told me I would be missed, and thanked me for 2 years of service. She told me to call if I needed to come back.

The Lord worked all of this out for me. I don't deserve it. I am humbled, and will always praise Him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a mighty God we serve!

This is my update to the prayer request I posted 3 weeks ago. I can never say thank you enough to you who pray for us.

Over the winter break I started searching for a new job. I put in several applications and resume's, and no one ever called. I wrote a post called "Set Apart" around the time I was to return to the Showboat for my 3rd season. I have been growing in my walk with God and one thing He really put on my heart was that I needed to be in the world, but not of it. I began praying hard. Another issue was working Sundays. I prayed and told God he was going to have to work out the Sunday issue. I went back to the Showboat. I tried everyday to do my work as if working for the Lord, and to remain set apart. I was still praying for the Sunday issue. I began putting in more applications. I probably had 20 of them out there this time around. I had my sights set pretty high, and was not going to settle for anything less than what my family needed. Know who called??? Not the hospitals and medical offices, it was the banks.
Three of them to be exact. I had several interviews with 2 of them, and was getting ready to accept a position, when the other one called. I went in for an interview, not sure what to expect. Besides, I had my heart set on a different one. The first lady I talked to told me that this bank was a little different than the others in town. They are a Christian bank! They have the 10 commandments on the wall, they fly the Christian flag, they have verses posted on the walls, and they pray before they make any decisions. Think this is coincidence for me??? Not a chance. More like an answer to my prayers.
I have been praying that I would find a job that works with my family first and foremost. Good hours, benefits, and no more Sundays. We have been praying over our financial situation, trying to get that right with God and be better stewards with our money. We needed a retirement plan, and health insurance that was affordable.

They called me yesterday and offered me the position. I accepted.

I am so very humbled by what the Lord has done in my life and my family's life.

Matthew 25:23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

I have been brought to my knees in awe. What a mighty God we serve.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Answer

I have not posted in several days, and I'm missing it. My goal when I started this blog was to write about my daily walk with God. I pray over it before I post. Some days I sit down to write, and even though I know the Lord is working in my life, He doesn't give me a word to share. So I wait. It seems every day that my blog title "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord" has also become a way of life for me. I wait for a word, a sign, a still, small voice to lead me. I'm not sure the purpose of this post today, but it is what I am being led to write.
I have a couple of different verses on my heart today. I hope by the end of this I will understand too.
1 Peter 3:15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
This verse has come up several times for me lately. I have a Daily Blessing on my blog that updates daily from another site I visit. This particular verse has come up 2 times in the last week, and I feel I'm supposed to give an answer today, for someone.
My life is pretty good. I have a couple of issues on my heart, pretty serious as they involve my immediate family, but all in all my life is good. God has seen to that. Not the case several years ago. I can remember a time when I prayed for death. I had no hope. I had a bleak and terrible view of what the future held for me. There were several things going on and I felt like I had no control over my life. The only way I knew to make the pain stop was by death. I'm not so proud of the girl I was back then. I tried to take my own life. I found out how valuable to others I really was, and how selfish I was being. I took drastic steps to get myself well. It is still humiliating for me to even think about that time in my life, and it is pretty uncomfortable to even talk about. God answered my prayer of death. It was in this time that I became born again. I asked Jesus into my heart, into my life. There was nothing left. I had nothing left to lose, and only life to gain. Eternal life. It hasnt been easy, but today I can say that when there is nothing left, God is enough. Someone told me recently that the Bible DOES NOT say that God will never give you more than you can handle. He will, because it is in these times of not being able to handle that you are broken and you learn to lean on Him, trust Him, and know that He is God.
I have a heavy heart right now for several people. Some are friends or family, some I dont even know. However, I have been led to pray for these people. A lady from my work died of cancer. I didnt know her, but several people I dont even work with but know pretty well have been affected by it. Two different times yesterday it was brought to my attention. I told one friend that I would be praying for her. I have found in the past that I say this flippantly, and never follow through. I never want to do that again. Her face lit up when I told her that. She was weary and burdened, it showed in her face. Then to see her light up from saying "I will be praying for you", tells me there is a hope. She is expecting me to do so. The best thing we can do for anybody is to pray for them. I know there have been people in my life who have been praying for me. Interceding, petitioning God.
2 Chronicles 7:14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
This is one of my favorite verses. It was one of the first I memorized. It contains a promise of healing! I dont know about you, but that is exciting news to me! There are so many hurting people in the world, people who have no hope. I was one of them! It was not easy to give up my wicked ways, and truth be told, I'm still a work in progress! The good news is that God did hear from Heaven, and HE IS HEALING MY LAND! Yes, there are bumps and deep pits of mourning for all of us, but God is FAITHFUL. Maybe not always in our timing and in our way, for His ways are higher than our ways, and His timing is perfect. I invite you to give Him a chance. Taste and see that the Lord is good! What do you have to lose???

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Lesson Learned

This past weekend we loaded up the truck and tent and went on a camping trip. It was called Ozarks Adventure Camp, and was sponsored by our Taekwondoh group. We traveled to Arkansas, headed for the Buffalo River, through some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. We even loaded up the truck onto a ferry to get us across Bull Shoals lake! We saw breathtaking waterfalls, and the biggest group of Elk I have ever seen! There must have been 20 of them! I tried taking pictures, but they were kind of far away, and it was too dark. We went canoeing down the Buffalo River, on Saturday, and that was so much fun! The river was really high from all the rain we have had lately, so only the brave and experienced could go. We had about 70 campers from our group that made the 2 hour trip, and only about 12 or so of us actually went canoeing. The ones who didnt go went on a hike up the many trails through the mountainous terrain. All in all we all had a relaxing and fun filled weekened. I could go on and on about the many things that happened out there, but there is one thing in particular that I want to hit on.
1st Corinthians 12; 7-10
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So what was Pauls thorn? We dont know, because it doesnt tell us. We just know that He was tormented by it.
I have something in my life that torments me, a thorn in my side. I have pleaded with God to take it away more than 3 times. I have fasted and prayed about it. I have been anointed with oil, and had hands laid upon me. It's still there. So whats my thorn? I'm a smoker. There you go, the dirty rotten truth.
I think if we are all honest though, we all have a thorn in our side. For some it's food, others it's gossip, etc...we all fall short of the glory of God. That is why we need a saviour.
I try really hard to not make others stumble because of my addiction. This weekend I walked away from our campsite every time I wanted to smoke. There just happened to be a 14 year old boy in our camp that made it his mission to try to save me. He's a PK, (Preacher's Kid). Evangelistic PK. Every time I went to smoke, there he was. He kept telling me how I was opening the door for satan to come into my life and that I was going to hell, etc... I took all of this very well. He is a young kid, full of fire for God, and tenderhearted. For the most part I listened to him condemn me, felt ashamed, and vowed not to quench his spirit. I felt as if I was up against something bigger than me, and didnt know how to handle it. That doesnt happen to me very often. Well I finally got mad. This kid had pushed me about as far as I was going to allow. I knew his intentions were good, and knew what he was trying to do, but I AM A CHRISTIAN! I have asked Jesus into my heart, and I know that there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. When I couldnt take it anymore I prayed "Lord please call off your messenger. I've taken all I can, and I'm getting ready to blow. Lord, I dont want to do that, and I need your help."
Right after I said that prayer, up walks another PK. This one an adult, a mature PK. He listened to this little guy talk to me for about a minute, then he jumped in. He said "I used to be just like you. I am a PK also, but I have learned a thing or two. I want you to remember John 3:17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
He told him the story about casting the stone, and how Jesus could have, but did not. He counseled this little guy with a Godly approach, using the scriptures to rebuke him and teach him. All in love. Something I was not able to do, though I too know these scriptures. It was like I had a hand over my mouth and fluff in my brain for awhile. I see the reason now. It was not the job God gave me in the whole process. My job was too be kind, and not quench his spirit. The Lord gave His lesson through someone else that could connect on this little guys level.
I was at a point where I could take no more temptation to have my say.
1st Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I prayed. God was faithful. He provided a way out by means of another. I was able to stand up under it. I found my voice, and was able to use it to encourage the little guy. I think he learned a valuable lesson. I know I did. I am glad God used me.
About the smoking? I will NEVER give up trying to quit. I know I have the power, it was given when the veil was torn, when my Saviour shed His blood on the cross for me. But I also have the grace of God and His grace is sufficient for me. For when I am weak I am strong.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rest in the Lord

These last few weeks for me have been simply amazing. I want to take just a bit this morning before I jet off to work to write some of it down. It is mostly for me today, because I dont want to forget. I always want to look back and remember how good God is. Today, tomorrow, and forever.
It has not been a bed of roses for me lately. I have had my share of disappointment, heartache, and stress. Not all things have gone my way. I have cried, and worried, and pleaded with God over several things. That is just life.
However, since starting this blog, things have been changing drastically for me. I am in God's word alot more, and my spirit is open more to His voice and leading. He is putting people in my path that need to hear my story. Just this last Sunday I got to witness to a fairly new Christian. She had just been baptised, and at prayer stood up with a request. Immediately I knew she needed to hear what I have been through. If I hadnt been in the will of God with my particular situation He would have never sent me to encourage her.
More people are starting to read my blog. Some strangers, some people I go to church with, some are people I know from other places. I have decided to not be ashamed about who I am, and what I do. I guess ashamed is not as correct as maybe "timid". God has not given me a spirit of timidity though. He has given me a spirit of power and of love and self discipline. Each day I feel more powerful in Christ.
This has been a season of serious growth for me in my walk with Christ. I have went from a babe drinking milk to eating a more solid food. The transformation I feel everyday is amazing. Thats what is getting me through the disappointments and heartache and stress. I have learned to rest in His perfect peace. I am learning more and more to trust him. I am slowly laying my life down and allowing Him to take over. (this is my definition of sanctification.....am I right?) I have made alot of decisions lately on changes that I need to make in my life. Some days they are overwhelming. However, I know what the end result will be. So I will keep pressing on.
I have some issues right now that I am struggling with, most of them relational. Repairing, growing closer, or developing. That is hard for me because of the person that I am, but I know it is God's will, and I dont want Him to bring me any storms for not doing what i know He wants me to. Pastor D gave a challenge at church last night to find verses that talk about God bringing storms to people lives. There was a lady who questioned whether God brought storms from our disobedience. I can think of several of them myself. He has to get our attention sometimes, and His ways are higher than our ways. We may not understand at times, and maybe never, but He is not against us. He loves us, and wants us to fill up on Him. Thats what I have been doing lately. Filling up with God. When you allow Him to fill you, even the heartaches and disappointment seem to be less. He replaces that empty feeling, the yearning for something more. His perfect peace. Jesus said "peace I give you." Accept it. Rest in the Lord.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh the Pain!

Proverbs 31:21
"When it snows, she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet."

Hmmm......I pray every day that the Lord would show me how to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I posted the verse where I can see it in my house. I read it everyday. Now I have to follow where God leads me with it. Oh, the pain. It hurts!
I have had to pick up a sewing needle more than once this week, more than twice, and I am going to have to do it again. I am investing in a good thimble, I can tell you that. I dont know how to use one, but after pricking myself under the fingernail and in several other fingers, I am determined to figure it out. Do they make whole hand thimbles??? No, Im NOT joking.

My boy wore jeans to school this morning with holy knees. Usually I would just go and replace them, but guess what? There is nothing in the budget for new jeans. Shame on me. However, I have found that a good patch is relatively cheap. Of course that requires dusting. I'm talking about the iron I havent used for awhile. Oh my. I'm really more of a mess than I first thought.

If you havent figured it out, this is about being a better steward with money. I am in charge of the finances, and I am failing miserably. THATS BECAUSE I AM IN CHARGE. No more, I dont want it. I'm putting God in charge. Guess what? He's cheap! LOL. I am kidding about that, I know he knows best.

It's snowing in my house. I do have fear for my household! I had a few unexpected expenses this week, and they caught me way off guard. I have been working on being a better steward, but I guess God thinks I'm not doing it fast enough. So I am making changes NOW. Drastic ones. Oh the pain.

What am I doing? First off, our monthly food bill is through the roof. We eat out way too much. I have discovered how to stop that. I have to cook. Oh the pain! I do cook, and I am pretty good at it if I do say so myself, but I have to cook more. Freeze it. For a snowy day. This could save anywhere from 2 to 3 hundred $'s a month. Sometimes more. Also going to the store with a list and making a menu before I begin. And leaving hubby at home.

There are alot of other things I can do to save money also. Here's the kicker though. You have to actually save it! Put it in the bank, or stash it away somewhere and dont get into it. Every family needs an emergency fund for when those unexpected expenses arise. I am determined to have one. I want a vacation fund. And a retirement fund. If we have no money in the vacation fund, we dont go on vacation. Same for the retirement fund. That makes me exhausted just thinking about it! The whole process is just renewing your mind and retraining yourself on how you spend your money. I want my family clothed in scarlet. The kids are learning too. Mom actually does know the word "NO". If I teach them now, hopefully they wont struggle like I have.
I may never make my own laundry soap or bake my own bread(I know I'm going to regret saying that again) but I am determined to be ready for it snowing in my house. I will be alot happier with myself, the kids will be happier, and hubby too. Mostly though, it is pleasing to God. Everything belongs to him, not me, and I need to treat things like they are His.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pray for me, please

I am asking for prayer today. For myself, and my family. I dont feel at liberty to discuss the issues as of yet, but I still need your prayers. I will update on this as soon as I am able.

James 4:2
"You do not have because you do not ask."

In Christ,

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm in the Lord's Army

1 John 4:3
"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now even in the world."

Yes, I'm going there.
I have done alot of prayer over this post. I have searched my Bible through and through. It is a tough one. I am outraged over the video I have posted. I could go alot of different ways with this one. I have even tried writing it several times only to hit delete, because I didn't feel God was pleased. I could pull out so many scriptures to rebuke Oprah and Tolle, and put a hole in their bucket, but that's not what God wants from me. I had an idea to start this post several days ago, and in my anger I got side tracked. The Lord will humble Oprah, and He will do a much better job than I ever could. I am just very saddened by the 2 million plus people she is deceiving. Oprah knows the truth.
John 14:6
"I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me."
Not even Oprah.

Have you ever caught somebody in a lie? You knew the truth, yet they continued to lie. Your standing there looking at them, watching them lie through their teeth, and what they are saying makes NO sense, and wouldn't add up even if you didn't know the truth. That's how I felt watching this video. I couldn't wrap my brain around half the stuff that was said, because I know the truth. They were chasing rabbit holes. The truth as I know it is simple.

The truth is that God is uniting His army. On the flip side, so is satan. I believe we are being called to "choose for yourselves this day who you will serve"(Joshua 24:15) Our family has chosen.
Mark 9:40 says "Whoever is not against us is for us." I take that as "if you're not for God, you are against Him."

Mother Earth can't take much more. There is flooding, and drought, famine, wars, global warming. The seasons are changing, the ice caps are melting. There is pornography every where you look, drugs, drunkenness, false teachers, etc.. If you read the book of Revelations, you will find many more signs. The day of the Lord is near.

Heaven is a real place.
John 14:2-3
"In my Fathers house are many rooms; IF IT WERE NOT SO, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME BACK and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

I am not taking any chances. I have been set free in the truth. I have kicked Oprah out of my home, along with many other things. It was hard, because I love her. I grew up with her. She has done many good things. But I don't agree with what she is promoting. I don't agree with her beliefs. And I refuse to get pulled in.

God is preparing His army. He is separating the wheat from the chaff. He is preparing for the final battle. I think the devil knows this, because he is putting in some overtime.
My family is in training for the battle. I know lots of people who are. I also know lots of people who are not, and even more who choose to water down the Gospel. They make it to fit their lifestyles. The road to Heaven is a narrow road, and many will choose the wider path. You can't ride the fence anymore. You cant be lukewarm. You must choose a side. If you are still riding the fence, you have chosen satan. That is the truth.
I am sure I will take criticism from this post. I don't care. I am not out to please man. Maybe at one time I was, but not anymore. I would much rather take the persecution and insults from people rather than the alternative, which is going to hell. It is a real place as well.

I am standing up for my God. The God of Abraham, and Moses, and David. I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery. I may never zoom o'er the enemy, but I'm in the Lord's army.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Revised Church of Oprah

I found this on my Sister in laws blog this morning and knew I had to post it to mine. I have been working on something that goes along with this. I'm not sure when I will post it, I am still praying over it and trying to make sure my words line up with God's words. The truth.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Just a quick post today to tell of some things that bring me joy. We take a taekwondoh class 2 times a week as a family. Hubby and I prayed for a long time for something we could do as a family to bring us closer, and this is what God gave us. We've been it it for over a year now, and all 5 of us have an advanced green belt, and a little over a year to go before earning a black belt.
We are learning in this class: COURTESY, INTEGRITY, PERSEVERANCE, SELF CONTROL, AND INDOMITABLE SPIRIT. We observe the tenets of taekwondoh. We dont mis-use taekwondoh, we respect our instructors and seniors, we will be champions of freedom and justice, and we will build a more peaceful world.
What we have learned in this class is invaluable. My son Hunter and I entered our first tournament on Saturday and since this is a part of our life, that God has given, I feel it's ok to share. It costs quite a little bit of money to be in this sport so we have to pick and choose who does what. Hunter earned his spot by being the hardest working in the class of my 3 kids. I earned mine by being mom. I wash the gi's, iron when necessary, take charge of belts and sparring equipment, get us to class on time, etc.....It's alot of work!

Hunter is 8 and went up against some pretty tough competition. His division is 8 & 9 year old boys. He took home a medal for 2nd for the forms division, and a 3rd place medal for the sparring. I am so proud of him. He is our very favorite little boy in the whole wide world.

I also had some pretty tough competition. The tournaments are based on skill and technique, and you develop those by hard work. I took home a medal for 3rd place in the forms division, and a trophy for 1st place in the sparring division. Either one of the girls I sparred could have easily have beaten me, and I did feel pretty beat up when I left. I feel certain that had my instructors not been there encouraging me and giving me pointers I would have walked with something less than what I did. This is a huge accomplishment for me.

Thank you, Master Burleson, and Ms. Stowers!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

As for me and My house....

Our baby niece Emily passed away February 10, 2008 and was laid to rest on Valentines day. She was 7 months old. I will never be able to tell of every way in which this has touched us, but I will do my best to live it everyday. I want you to SEE Jesus in me.

On Christmas night we went back to my Father in law's house where we were staying, and all of us in the house laid awake praying for Emily. It was a desperate cry to the Lord. In the back of our minds though, we knew. That is just something you don't talk about, and you don't even like to think it, because the pain of it is just too sad. I am just so thankful that the Lord allowed her the time with her family that He did.

We arrived at their house late Sunday evening after getting that awful phone call. Our normally noisy children sat and played quietly in the backseat of the car for the whole 6 hour drive. There was no fighting and arguing, they shared all of the toys, and they didn't ask not once, "are we there yet?" We had talked to them before leaving the house about how Emily's 4 other brother's and sister's must be feeling right now. At one point my girls clung to each other, and for a little while the animosity between them was non existent. Emily had done for them in minutes what Dad and I have been trying to do for years. Still today, when issues arise between them and the anger gets the best of them, I remind them of their little cousins who have lost a sibling. The girls are learning to heal.

One of the first things my hubby did after that call, was to call our Pastor. He asked for a verse for his little brother. It was one of those times that my normally take charge, able to fix ANYTHING hubby was brought to his knees. In loading up the car, he made sure the Bible was in the front with us. We were not sure what the situation would be when we got there, but he wanted to make sure he was ready for whatever. This is his part of the story to tell, and one day when he does, I know many lives will be changed.

In my last post I talked about how my Brother in law and his wife were like PB&J, Oreo cookies and milk, and pizza with extra cheese. That being said, my brother in law is the peanut butter, the outside of the Oreo cookies, and the crust of the pizza!

Ephesians 5:23 "For a Husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; He gave his life to be her saviour."

Our Husbands are our spiritual leaders. They will be judged one day on how they lead their families. I was not prepared for what we saw when we got to their house. In the middle of the grieving, I saw my brother in law rejoice, and praise, and worship his Lord and saviour. In the midst of losing his child, he chose to worship. It immediately made me think of David's story. (2ND Samuel 12:15-23) Throughout the week people from their church stopped by. They brought food, kind words, and lots of kids! I believe at one point I counted 15 kids in the house, though it was so quiet you would never have believed it! One family had 8 of them! We saw the hand of the Lord in that house. God had been preparing this family for the death of a child, and in preparing he put people in their path that would help them through this. I've never seen anything like it.

The first few days we witnessed were NOTHING compared to the service for Emily. They wanted to honour her, and in honouring her, they honoured the Lord. My brother in law got up and spoke. Their youngest son went up there with him. My brother in law held him most of the service, and wiped the sweat from his brow. Most people would have had someone else take charge of the little tyke, but not my Brother in law. That spoke volumes. He spoke of Emily and her short life here. He told stories that made us laugh. He stood TALL and the words flowed out of him. He told us about Jesus. He talked to the unsaved, and told them how Jesus has went to prepare a place for us.

In the last post I told how they were a quiver full family. They have put God in charge of how many children they will have. They fully believe that their children are a blessing of the Lord. They are. These parents are warriors who have shot one of their arrows. They want their life to be a testimony to the Lord. They wanted to keep her. I believe the Lord gave Emily to them for a season, to sharpen her. So she would be able to pierce the hearts of those the Lord has put in her path. The ones who are not saved. ALL of us our God's children, but in the end what matters is who we CHOOSE to call our Father.

This is what it is that fascinates my hubby and myself about these 2. They don't care what the world thinks of them, they care what God thinks. In the service my brother in law asked the question, "Where do we go from here?" His answer: "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) That is faith.

We have witnessed the strong faith and trust this family has for the Lord. There is a commandment that says, "You shall not covet", but I want what they have. It brings peace, and joy, and contentment in all things. They don't just have faith, they truly live it. They will always love and miss their baby girl, but they have secured a place in Heaven for themselves. One day they will be reunited with her, and their will be no more suffering, and no more tears. Until then I want our life to be a testimony that Emily's was not in vain.

1Peter 1:7 The trials and challenges of your faith are more precious than gold that perishes, even when tested by fire. So if your faith remains strong after being much tested, it will bring praise and glory and honour."

I wanted to give you a glimpse of my sister in law in all of this, because my brother in law would not be the man he is today if it weren't for the way she lives. It's true for the other way around as well. They compliment each other. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he will eventually take his seat among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23), while her works will bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:31)

I may never bake my own bread, or learn how to sew, but one thing is certain. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be submissive to my husband, and allow him to be the leader of our family. I want to instill the word of God upon my children, and write it on my doorways. I want people to see us and want what we have. On February 14Th, 2008 my hubby and I both decided that "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord".

Upon closing I would like to say that I cant even imagine the sorrow and heartache my Brother in law and his wife and children are having to bear. I pray that I may never know. For those of you who do know, I have asked permission of my sister in law to give a link to her blog. She has allot of good stuff on there, and is a very talented writer. She has written things that will step on your toes and also things that will encourage you. If you must leave her a comment, do so in love. Her blog is raising-arrows.blogspot.com

We love you, Emily. We will never forget you. I can't wait until the day we get to see you again in Heaven.

HindSight is 20/20

I'm leading up to something with this post. Today I want to write about something that fascinates, intrigues, and inspires me.

I would like to introduce you to my most favorite Brother in law and his wife. My hubby's little brother! It's actually his wife I want to introduce, but I thought I would score more points if I began that way! He is actually my ONLY Brother in law! I can still play favorites though. :) However, the pair of them together are PB&J, Oreo cookies and milk, Pizza with extra cheese. You get the picture. They compliment each other.

Yes, my Sister in law fascinates and intrigues and inspires me. I love going to their house. I'm like a little kid in a candy store there, because I know I am going to learn something. Part of it is the fact that they have a quiver full of children. (see Psalm 127) Five to be exact, and I'm sure there will be more to come. They came up to our house shortly after number 5, Emily, was born, and I couldnt stop counting them! I was intrigued with this!

My sister in law also homeschools the kids. They dont have television in their house. They dont go to a "traditional" kind of church. They go to a church where the MEN lead the worship and service, which I found strange at first, because my Sister in law has a beautiful singing voice, and used to lead worship. The women do not talk, I dont think. The kids do not run off to Sunday School and Childrens Church. They sit QUIETLY with their parents. I asked them about this, because I genuinely wanted to know. She told me it had something to do with going back to the first church in the book of Acts. I am still learning about this, but I think I partly understand now.

She makes her own cloth diapers, and at one point she was even selling them to other moms. She makes her own laundry soap, and hand soap. She bakes bread from scratch. She scrapbooks, makes curtains, and dresses for the girls. I will never forget her "play dough" and watermelon! That is just one of her intriguing little recipes I have tasted! The best one I have found so far though, is the little pieces of paper taped to her walls in various places with Bible verses that remind her how to be a VIRTUOUS WIFE. I could go on and on. In short, she IS a model of the Proverbs 31 woman in training. I could write a book here, and someday I plan to, but I dont want to lose my focus right now.

I think she has taken alot of criticism in her life from other women. She just does not conform to the ways of the world. Matter of fact, I have questioned the way she lives. My husband and I have both thought that the pair of them were crazy at one point. But we kept watching them. What was it about them that held us fascinated? Little did we know God had a message in here for us.

We went to their house at Christmas time. It had been a hard few weeks for them because Emily had been really sick and in the hospital. She was 5 months old or so. She was actually still in the hospital when we arrived. I am not real good with medical jargon, so I will take my Sister in laws' words and say that Emily had a congenital defect that caused her bowels to be in the wrong place. She had surgery a couple of different times. They convinced the doctors to let her come home Christmas Eve. We spent Christmas Day with them. It was bitter-sweet, and we all have memories we will cherish forever. Baby Emily was with us for Christmas. Her first Christmas.

She was still not completely healed from her surgeries, and she was hurting. I wanted to hold her so badly, but I didnt want to take away time from Grandma and Mom and Dad. She was just so beautiful. Later in the day I got the chance. I snuggled her so close, as close as the tubes she still had in her to administer medication would allow. She had been crying the whole day. Not a loud, overbearing, drive you crazy, sort of cry. It was more like a song that she just continued to sing to us all. I cant explain it. I only know that it was just ok. That was the best Christmas we ever had.

That was also the last time we got to see baby Emily. She went to be with her Jesus on February 10th, 2008.

I wanted to write this post to give a little background to the next post. I will be sharing how Emily's short life here on Earth has touched and changed my family, in only the way the Lord can do.

Right now I think I will go have a good cry, and pray for my Brother and Sister in law.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Set Apart Updated

Thank You! to those of you who who are reading, and for sending me the verses I was unable to find.
John 15:19 says "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

I love how 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 reads. (Thank you Kris) I recommend reading from verse 14-18.
Verse 17 says
"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you."

I do also want to add that there are some days that I have to get up and walk away. These are the times usually when I haven't been in the Word as much as I need to be, and if I'm not careful, the darkness will try to consume me. It is hard to walk away, but I have the promise that God will not let me be tempted beyond my strength, and He ALWAYS makes a way for me to escape so that I may endure. It's a choice.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Set Apart

Yay! A moment to blog! I am finally back to work after having the winter off, and I am finding less and less free time to do what I enjoy. Although I really enjoy my job. Our topic in Sunday School this morning was concerning work. A man had won 3 million dollars in the lottery and after a short break went and asked for his job back. Why? He certainly didnt need the money. Could it be that working at his job made him happy? Fulfilled? Content? I think so.

When I first moved to Branson I saw the Showboat out on a cruise in the middle of the lake, and I prayed right then and there. I wanted to work there. I applied and got the job as a server. This is my 3rd season there. Over the winter break I applied for a few different jobs. I have a decent resume, but I got no calls back. Seems the Showboat is still where God wants me. The part time hours work well with my family, but just like any other job there is always room for improvement. Like having Sundays off. No body out there likes to work Sundays. I prayed before going back that if this is where God wanted me He was going to have to work out the Sunday issue. I asked for that day off, and I dont know anything yet, but I have faith that if this is where I'm supposed to be He will work it out according to His plans.

I was a stay-at-home mom for alot of years. This is where my hubby wanted me. I was very resistant to it. As everyone already knows from my previous blog, I'm not cut out for housework. However my children are my life, and I knew that it was important to be with them. No body else can raise them the way Mom can. Now Im far from the perfect Mom, so dont get wrong ideas from that statement! When my baby started preschool and kindergarten I found myself with a little more free time on my hands. I took a part time job. I even worked a little bit in the classroom with my child and got paid for it. Imagine! Getting paid to brush my teeth, and take naps, and color, and put together puzzles, and eat graham crackers! I found it very fulfilling.

After this is was easier for me to be able to go home and do what needed done. I didnt feel like life was so monotonous. I was meeting new people, making friends, and earning a little extra money for the things we wanted.

Things are a little different for me today. I still work because I want to, not out of necessity. God has blessed me in that way. Work for me is an extracurricular activity. We could get by without my job, but I am sure a better person when I work. I just have to keep the right balance. I have to put God first, family next, then my job. Thats why it works.

I know God has a plan for me at the Showboat. Why else would He keep me there? It is a wonderful place to "work as if working for the Lord." Somedays can be very trying, especially since I am a server. Jesus was a "server" also! He came to serve and not to be served. I have days when I think of myself as "just a waitress", but I know it goes deeper than that.

Working in a restaraunt you find all kinds of different people. It is just a different kind of atmosphere. Most are good people, but not everyone is a Christian. That can make things difficult on those of us who are. I mean those of us who choose to walk the walk, and let others know who we "serve". I am not sure where the verse for this is. I really looked for it. It is the one that tells us to be in the world, yet set apart. Every day I have to pray for this for myself. There are some really fun people I work with! They just sometimes do "things" I can not, or have conversations I cant join in, etc..... They know why I dont. They respect that. Most of them also try to show respect when I'm around. They still like me. They just dont invite me anymore! I'm not an in your face preaching sort of person. I try to be that still, small voice. I try to live by example. I try to follow 1 Peter 3:15 which says, "But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

I think the key here is gentleness and respect. If I give them the opposite, they arent going to want anything to do with my God!

This was just really on my heart today. I may never know "why" God wants me here. Thats ok. I will serve Him here, I will serve him there, I can serve him anywhere!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


What a glorious day we had Easter Sunday. It didn't start out so great.

I woke up in a "mood". I have been struggling with some "things" for awhile and I believe they came to a head that morning. The house was a disaster, I had went to bed too late the night before, and the Easter outfit I had picked out to wear made me look fat. Now that part may sound trivial and silly to you. I had worn this outfit the last 2 years and it was fine. Since January 1st I have been doing an exercise routine FAITHFULLY. I started out at 10 reps each of sit ups, push ups, squats, kicks, etc...I am now up to 48 of each a day, five days a week. I have struggled through this for 2 1/2 months. When I first started this I was barely able to do 2 boys style push ups. If I missed a day, I made it up. I have not lost weight, I have gained it. I will continue to push on with my routine, because I committed myself to it. My family is trying to eat better, exercise, and feel better. If I don't do it, they certainly are not. There is just not allot of encouragement in it.

There are a couple of different situations like this in my life. One in particular that I have had to let sit and allow God to work. I have had to "Be still and know that He is God". I have had to truly walk in faith. Some days it seemed that things couldn't get worse, yet they did. Some days I would say I am not going to allow that to hurt me, yet it did. I try hard to raise my family correctly. I stay away from gossip, I read my Bible, I pray, I serve others, I am learning to be submissive to my hubby, etc.... Allot of these things people cant see. I know that is the way it supposed to be done. Some days there is just not allot of encouragement in it.

Before Hubby and I left for church I told him I didn't want to go. I didn't care what day it was, I just didn't have it in me. Thankfully he talked me into it. On the way I told him that I was just beat up and wasn't finding allot of encouragement in anything I did. He understood, because he knows me. He assured me that what I was doing was the right things, and I needed to quit being down on myself. Once we got there I lightened up a little and I even went around and shook hands of people I didn't know. I made my way to some of the elders and gave hugs, and tried to encourage another family who has experienced a loss this year.

It wasn't but a few minutes later, during worship, I lost it. I wanted to praise, but it was hurting. I clung to my hubby and just cried out for God. I was done for, I didn't have the strength to do it on my own anymore. That was the defining moment. A Red Letter Day, if you will. After the worship Pastor D told us to find one person to encourage and give a hug. Yeah right. Not me, not today. Out of the blue a person from the circumstance I spoke of earlier came up and gave me one. No words, no tears, just a hug. The encouragement I needed. I was shocked and surprised.

Hubby and I spoke of it in the truck on the way home. He voiced my thoughts from earlier. It was the best encouragement I could have asked for. Simple, but so fulfilling. God knew what I needed, even if I didn't. All I had to do was ask. James 4:2 says "you do not have, because you do not ask."

We went to some friends house for Easter Dinner after church. They are also Christians. I was so thankful that they opened their home to us on this day. We don't have any family here, and after the year we have had, it was nice to not be alone. The kids hunted Easter eggs, even the 2 sixteen year olds! We had great food, great fellowship, just a great day.

Last thoughts before I close. Find some one today to encourage. Eveybody needs it. You might just make their week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

15 minutes a Day

I HATE housework. I HATE laundry, and dishes, and mopping. I'm supposed to be cut out for this stuff. I'm a woman, right? Well I'd rather mow the grass, wash the car, or go to my regular job! ANYTHING but housework. Actually, I love to vacuum especially since I bought myself a brand new Kirby vacuum cleaner. OK, I was bamboozled by the girl at the door with a candle. I just wanted the candle, and next thing I know I am ambushed by the sales man, never to see the girl with the candle ever again! Hubby still laughs at me over this.
However, one CAN'T vacuum until the house is clean. I know, because I've tried. That Kirby is so powerful it will pull a weeks worth of dirty socks out from under the couch! I cant count how many times I have had to shut it down to pull something out of it that was not meant to be vacuumed up!
A few years ago my Sis-in-Law sent me to a website called Flylady.com. I followed instructions for awhile, until my email inbox got cluttered with her emails. The point of her website is to clean and declutter!
I looked around my house this morning, and I caved. Back to Flylady. Of course I dressed to the shoes before I did it, (see Flylady.com for details) and put in a load of laundry.This lady's techniques are really amazing though. She shows you how to declutter and clean in just a few minutes a day. One zone at a time! I am taking "baby steps" with it right now, because I cant even find where one zone begins and the other ends! However, it didn't get this way in a day, so it will take some time to get back in order.
I feel relief just from visiting her today. A place to start, and I know I don't have to be overwhelmed with it, because I set the timer and I'm done when it goes off. I have to do this every day or it wont work. I have to be committed.
I don't have a verse for this today! I only have conviction in my heart. I know what I'm supposed to do, and lately I haven't been doing it. How am I supposed to be happy and raise a happy family? I'm supposed to bless my family, and the chaos (Cant Have Anybody Over Syndrome) here is not blessing anybody. Except when somebody sneezes from the dust and we say Bless you! Hee hee!
Please pray for me in this area. I have grown allot since I first got married, learned a few things. My house is cleaner now than back then!
So I'm getting up, off the computer, off of my rear, and I'm doing my 15 minutes of declutter. Then maybe I can soak in a bubble bath for an hour without any guilt. First.............maybe I better use my 15 minutes to declutter that bathroom!
God bless you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spiritual Attack

If you're not a Believer, you may not understand what I write here. It may scare you. It is real.
If you are a Believer, my hope is that you will be encouraged and uplifted.

I want to start with this verse.
(Ephesians 6:11-13) "Put on all of God's armour. Then you can stand firm against the devils evil plans. 12. Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world." 13. So put on all of Gods armour. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will be standing.

I am under spiritual attack as I write this. Satan does NOT want me to do this, nor does he want you to read it. He will try to make me suffer the consequences of it. When I got saved 8 years ago, I was ON FIRE for Christ. I was reading my Bible, praying, serving in the church, sharing my testimony, etc... It was pure joy. There is nothing like being a Baby Christian. I was not prepared for what would happen next. In looking back I see that the things that happened have helped me to get where I am now, but in the process I almost lost everything. Those evil days did come. I didn't understand. How could this happen? Satan put me in the path of my weaknesses and I didnt even realize it until it was too late. And I fell. Later I was talking to my best friend and mentor about it and she told me about the parable of the sower found in Mathew 13:1. The thing is, I wasnt planted firmly in good soil. I was in rocky soil that was shallow. I do want to add that even though I stumbled and fell, the Lord was faithful. He forgave me, has given me grace. He helped me to grow roots. I did everything I could, and YES, I am standing. I have learned to put on the whole armour of God. Let me explain.
Several months ago, we took a little girl in our neighborhood to church with us. Her father is into witchcraft and who knows what else. However he does have a Christian background. He finally allowed her to come. My daughter asked the church to pray for her. We did. We prayed that she would come to know Jesus as her saviour, and we prayed that her family would allow her to continue to come to church. We prayed that she would be a light to her father. When we came home that night, she had a glow to her that was unmistakable. She wanted to go again. My other daughter and her friend walked her home. The father met the girls outside, made small talk, then proceeded to tell my daughter and her friend about some verses in the book of Revelation. These 2 girls came running to me, told me what they had learned, and they were frightened to death. I started to tremble. Not a shaking out of control tremble, but the kind that only comes from the Lord. The Holy Spirit was taking over in me, and He is a jealous God. These girls are HIS, and satan was not getting them. The words that came out of my mouth were not mine. My voice yes, not my words. I can barely tell you what I said to these girls. I do know, after all that, they were not questioning their faith. I remember telling them that the Bible is to be taken as a whole, and the book of Revelation should only be frightening to UNBELIEVERS, not Christians. It is a book of encouragement to us. I immediately called a leader in the church for prayer. The devil was angry at me for trying to take "one of his" and he tried to retaliate by taking one of Gods. That is the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
That was the first battle that week, not to be the last. I dont want to write a book here, so I will try to put it in few words. That same week my faith was also questioned by a stranger. I was called "one of those church going hippocrites". I was confronted by an angry lady in MY living room, with her finger pointed in my face, and I had a choice to make. I take a martial arts class. And I was smoking hot mad. What she was saying was heresay and gossip. My mind recalled the verse "Be angry, and sin not." I kept a level head and quietly asked her if she was feeding on gossip. She left a lot quieter than when she arrived. Things have since been "sort of" repaired.
There was so much that week that could have tumbled me over the edge again. The next night we found a snake out side of our garage. The cat was playing with it. It was a baby rattlesnake. It was dark out there, and my husband was not yet home from work, even though it was really late. We called the neighbors for help. They came and removed it. Then he told me it was very rare to find one of these snakes near where people live. If we had not found it, my husband would have stepped right on it on his way from the truck into the house. It was right in his path. I have a picture here for proof. I also have witnesses.

John 10:10 says "The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full."

To me that snake represented the spiritual attack I had been under all that week. It was satan telling me he is here, he is real, and he will try to come back. But I have weapons. I have the belt of truth, the armour of godliness on my chest, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Holy Spirit, which is Gods word. Without all of this, I will fall. With it I may be bleeding and bruised, but I will be standing.