Monday, March 30, 2009

Out On A Limb!

For two days we have been searching for our cat. We have stood outside calling her and shaking her food jar. Usually the shaking of the food jar causes her to sprint toward her food dish. But for the last two days nothing has worked. My husband and I were starting to get worried.

If you know us then you know that we have not had the best luck with pets. We have been through two dogs, a cat and two rabbits. Oh, yes and there were some fish in there but I can't remember how many. Let me clarify that "been through" means they had to go live with other families because they were just not the right fit for us. But then we found Cali and well she was just perfect for us.

She came up to me one Wednesday night at church and she seemed to just be begging for a home. So we brought her home with us. She is an outside cat and is the sweetest thing ever. She sleeps by our front door most days and we just love her.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a fox in our backyard. I was a little alarmed because we live in a subdivision and you usually don't see foxes in your back yard. We do back up to some woods so my husband said he was probably just passing through. Well, the next week our children were outside playing and the fox chases our cat out of the woods into our yard.

You should have seen it. My husband had just gotten in from work and was still in his dress pants and button down shirt. He runs and grabs his shot gun and dashes out into the yard. I started laughing because it is not everyday that you see a man in dress clothes running out tote'n a camo shot gun. The fox got away unharmed.

So when our sweet Cali could not be found for two days we started to wonder if the fox had well, gotten her.

We were sad this morning when we got up for school and turned on the outside lights and Cali was still not there. For some reason, my husband and I had decided that this was the day. Either she would come home or we would have to accept the fact that she was gone.

I get the kids out the door for school and then the phone rings. I figured it was my husband saying one of the kids had forgotten something. It was my husband, but he was telling me to come outside quickly because they had found Cali. She was stuck up in a tree across the street from our house. My son spotted her when they were pulling out of the driveway. My job was to keep an eye on her while my husband took the kids to school. Then he would come back to rescue her.

As I got close to her, I felt so sorry for her. She was shaking and crying and wanting to move but paralyzed with fear. She was stuck out on a tiny little limb alone.

As I stood under the tree looking up at her, God began to speak to my heart. There are so many women out there in a similar situation. They are cold, lonely, scared and paralyzed by fear. We walk past them every day. It may be the woman beside me in the grocery store aisle. Or the woman in front of me in the car pool line. Or the woman behind me in the check out line. Or it may be you.

My prayer is that God will give me eyes today to see them; to hear their cry for help. I know the One that rescues and He stands ready with outstretched arms. May I be His arms and hands today to reach out to those that are crying for help.

Ladies, we all have a kinsman-redeemer and His name is Jesus Christ. He longs to save and rescue you from whatever is holding you captive. I pray that you will pursue Him today. Believe me He will pursue you back!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

She Speaks!

I am sitting at my computer trying to be creative and clever while my heart is racing. And unfortunately, the creative cleverness is just not coming. I thought if I could type a great post then maybe I could be picked and I could win the scholarship to attend She Speaks 2009. However, I quickly realized that it is not about my creative cleverness or lack there of because if God wants me there then it will happen in spite of me.

I know you are probably saying "What? What are you talking about?"

Well, it all started on Thursday when I was going through my daily blog reading. I clicked on Lysa Terkeurst's blog and her post was titled "She Speaks Scholarship Contest for Bloggers". I could not read fast enough, but I did not want to read too fast and miss something. She Speaks is a conference that Proverbs 31 Ministries put together for women who feel called to speak, write, blog, lead in women's ministry or reach the next generation for Christ. The conference is packed with practical information designed to help you fulfill the calling God has placed on your life. You can read more about the conference by clicking on She Speaks in the above sentences.

I attended the She Speaks Conference in 2007 and it was a life changing experience for me. I mean LIFE CHANGING! I went hoping to obviously learn something, but more importantly I wanted to hear from God. I was all by myself. I drove to North Carolina by myself, I roomed by myself and I attended the conference by myself. It was a first for me as I am not usually a lone traveler. But what I quickly learned was that I was not by myself at all. There were 400 other women there who felt just as unsure about God's calling on their lives as I did. And I ended up with a roommate after all - God. I had such a sweet time of fellowship with Him that weekend. I had a revival in my soul and a revival in my calling. God gave me direction. God redefined my purpose. It was more than I ever dreamed of.

Earlier this year, I started thinking a lot about the conference. God has done amazing things in my life over the past 2 years since I attended. I have been obedient to Him in the very things that we talked out that weekend. And He has proven Himself faithful to me over and over. I really want to go back.

I mean I REALLY WANT TO GO BACK! But, there is this little thing called money that is standing in my way. So, I committed to just pray about it because I know money is no obstacle to my God.

Now do you understand my excitement when I read Lysa's blog post?

Could it be me?

Could this be God's way of working it all out?

I don't know. But I do know this...whom ever God picks to receive this scholarship is in for a life changing experience and that gets me excited!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Being Content With What You Have

"Marriage should be honored by all,
and the marriage bed kept pure,
for God will judge the adulterer
and all the sexually immoral.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and
be content with what you have,
because God has said, "Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:4-5

I was appalled by something I saw on TV this morning. There is a website where married people can go to have an affair.

Can you believe that?

It appeared to me that it was set up similiar to one of the dating service websites. A man working for the "company" that ownes or runs this website seemed to be bragging about the number of people that have joined. It was a staggering number.

It blew my mind that a company exists that is profiting from adultery. Satan truly will stop at nothing to destroy families.

Satan is the father of lies and he wants us to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Can I tell you that it is not greener. Maybe the patch you see looks a little greener but when you get up close and look at it, it is the same color as the grass you have. It is all lies.

I love verse 5 above where we are told to be content with what we have. The verse goes on to say because God said He would never leave us or forsake us. It is as if the verse is asking "what do you have to not be content with? God has told you He will never leave or forsake you."

I need the reminder to be content. Be content in my marriage, be content with my home, be content with my wardrobe, be content with my vehicle...

What about you, are you content?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Perspective Change

Have you ever needed a perspective change?

I desperately needed one the other day. I was rushing out the door to get my children to school when my car wouldn't start. For some reason the cables going to the battery wiggle loose. I know, doesn't that sound just like your mechanic talking. I have learned how to wiggle them and get the car to start. So we are on our way.

Oh wait! I am in a curve going around 20 mph and my cars decides to quit again. Meaning the power steering doesn't work and did I mention that I drive a suburban. So I get it stopped with out taking out any of the neighborhood mailboxes. I go and wiggle the wires some more and off we go.

I was a little nervous because the car has never stopped on me while I was driving. So I slowed down a bit on our drive to school. And then guess what happens... front left tire blows out! It was not a flat tire, it was a major blow out.

When I finally get back home, I dropped to my knees and confessed to the Lord how desperately I needed Him. I mean one doesn't have to be real bright to figure out that I was dangerous on my own that day.

It was one of those days when I did not even have words to say to my Heavenly Father. I just needed Him desperately. I sat speechless for a few minutes and them I asked Him to speak to me through His Word. I opened my Bible and it fell open to Isaiah 40. Please go read Isaiah 40. My favorite verse is verse 12:

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?"
Isaiah 40:12

"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing."
Isaiah 40:26

Those verses will give you a perspective change real quick!

I was awestruck by how BIG my God is!

Cup your hand, go ahead and do it. Now look at the hollow in your hand. How much water can you hold? Maybe a fourth of a cup.
My God measured the waters in the hollow of his hand! How big is God's hand?
And guess what? Even on that day when I felt nothing could or would go right, God was holding me in His hand. Now that is comforting!
So take comfort today in knowing that God is holding you in His really BIG hands. And that if He knows the starry hosts by name, dear one I know for certain that He knows you and me by name.
Now, go praise Him for His greatness!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello Crazy, I'm Home!

I am going CRAZY and the cashier at Publix can vouch for me! Last week I officially lost my mind and the cashier at Publix was so gracious to me. I know that secretly she is just hoping that I never come in the store again while she is working.

Well, I first need to tell you that I am all into coupons right now. I feel that since I do not work full time outside my home anymore that I need to do all I can to save money. You know keep more of what we have. So, I have read a lot of blogs on couponing (is that even a word?) and I think I have a good idea of how it all works. But I will say that I still do not know how they buy $150 worth of groceries for $30. That is my goal.

Now back to me loosing my mind. I knew it was going to be a tough day because I needed to hit 3 grocery stores (with Walmart being one of them) and be in the car pool line by 2:30 to get my children. Oh, I was proud of myself because I even packed a cooler to keep my cold items cold. Yes, game was on! I had my folder with my lists in it and my coupon envelopes for each store.

I'm telling you I was prepared!

Well, I did real good in the first two stores. I felt like I got some good deals and I sure did get a lot of groceries. I even got Gillette men's shampoo for FREE! I am still proud about that. So, it is nearing 1:30 and I head to Publix, my last store.

I am not going to lie, I was tired and my feet were starting to hurt. I wore the wrong shoes. I was going for cute instead of comfort and I paid for it.

I gather my items in Publix and I just need to get one last thing, peanut butter. I had walked for miles in the store and could not find where it was hiding. This was not my normal Publix and so I was not real familiar with where everything was. I stop at the checkout and ask the cashier where the peanut butter was located. She told me to pull my cart in her line and she would take me to it. (Her first mistake) I get my peanut butter and head back to her check out line. Another cashier was already unloading my groceries.

I need to pause right here and tell you that I have a system to stacking my groceries on the conveyer belt. I place them by how I want them bagged. I know you are all shaking your heads in agreement because everyone knows this. Well, the cashier unloading my cart was not aware of this rule and I was starting to get a little miffed by it. I mean I love me some customer service but I was starting to feel rushed and I had already been to two other stores and my feet were hurting and well BACK OFF!

Meanwhile, the cashier that was ringing me up asked if I had any coupons. Oh, yes ma'am I do! Here begins the slippery slope to Craziville. I could not find my coupons. I looked in my folder and the envelope was not there. I looked in my purse and they were not there. I asked the cashier if I could go to my car and look for them. Again, she was so gracious that she said "sure honey." I go to the car praying with every step that they are in the car. But NO!

Where are my beloved coupons?

I need to pause again and tell you that earlier in the week I watched a movie on the Hallmark channel about a homeless woman and a police officer woman. The homeless woman had two dogs, Man and BeBe. She took very good care of her dogs. BeBe got pregnant, not by Man, had puppies and the Officer helped to find them homes. Then BeBe goes missing and the homeless woman runs down the street screaming "BeBe, where are you BeBe, BeBe. Oh my precious BeBe..." You get the idea.

Well, that day in Publix I felt a lot like that homeless woman only I was screaming "Coupons, Oh my precious Coupons, where are you? Come home to mama Coupons..."

After searching my car, I re-enter the store disgusted that I lost my coupons. I mean truthfully I didn't even want the groceries now. They had bagged all my stuff and pushed my cart to the side. I asked the cashier if I could look around the store for them. Again, she graciously agreed. So off I go on my pursuit of my lost coupons.

I start around the perimeter of the store looking down every aisle. I know everyone thought I was some sort of stalker or something. I did not see them anywhere. I pass by the dairy case and finally come to the realization that they are gone. Gone forever. Bye my precious coupons, Goodbye!

Oh but wait, are my eyes playing tricks on me? Is that my envelope I see?

Oh Yes Ma'am It Is!

They have come home to mama! I run over grab it up and hug it for what seems like minutes. Just kidding I really did not hug the envelope although I wanted to.

I headed back to the cashier with my coupons and proudly handed them over to her. I know she probably thought I was going to be saving hundreds of dollars the way I carried on about my coupons, but I explained to her that it was the principle of it not the dollar amount. I thanked her for being so kind to me and headed to my car looking happily at the You Saved This Much line.

What a day!

Craziville, Mama is home!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fear or Faith

A good friend of mine did a devotion at my previous job last year titled Fear or Faith. Several times she posed the question, "Are you living by fear or faith?" As I sat in my seat listening it was as if God himself was asking me these questions. I usually would have said faith, but that day I knew God knew the truth and I might as well say it too, FEAR. God used my friends devotion to catapult me into really living by faith. In fact, that day as soon as I got back to my desk I called my boss and asked to come to her office. I resigned from my job that day and stepped out in faith.

I never felt more alive or more scared that day. I was really doing it! I was really going to do this faith thing and walk right into what I thought "our" plans were going to be. It only took a few days before I realized that there was no "our" plans, there was only His plans and they really didn't align all that well with mine.

Shortly after I quit my job this little thing called the economy took a nose dive. I remember thinking "Um God, did you know that the economy isn't really doing all that great and are you sure this was the right time to leave my stable, dependable job?"

"Are you living by fear or by faith?"

See that was one of my biggest fears. What if this whole stepping out in faith doesn't work out and what if we can't survive on one salary, and what if I need to go back to work again. What will everyone think? What if...What if...What if...

"Are you living by fear or by faith?"

It is not easy living by faith, but it is where true freedom resides.

The "what ifs" are suffocating and binding. It is so easy to get tangled up in them. And that is what our enemy, the devil, wants. He wants me bound up and suffocated by my fears because he knows that I am powerless in that state.

But God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

I tell you today that you do not have to live a life of fear. It is not what God has planned for you. He desires that we live our lives fully surrendered to Him, walking in His power and truth. It really is where true freedom resides!

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!

We had fun today playing in the snow and making our new Snowman Friend, who might I just say knows how to wear a scarf! You know they are the big fashion item this season or so I have heard. That just happens to be one of my scarfs from the early 90's. Who says things don't come back in style?
Have a great Monday!

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