Archive | June, 2015

Facing the Fire

25 Jun

Stand; Stories of Courage.  We just wrapped up this amazing series so do yourself a favor and listen.

This week, we find ourselves in Daniel 3.  King Nebuchadnezzar had a gigantic golden statue made of him and set forth a decree that when the music played, everyone must fall down and worship the statue and whomever refused, would be thrown into the furnace. (I can’t imagine a fiery death.  We live in a 2 story house and I have kept myself up many nights stressing over the fact that a fire could break out downstairs and my fire alarms won’t go off and my daughters will burn up before we get to them.  True story ya’ll, I didn’t make that up for dramatic effect.)

Three boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (I’ll refer to them as SMA from now on to avoid a finger cramp) refused to worship the statue because their God was the God of Israel, the ONE.TRUE.GOD.  The God who raises little girls from the dead, the God who heals the lame, the God who forgives and the God who saves.  They had such faith that they knew without a doubt that their God would save them from the fire.

The king was furious with them and ordered the furnace to be heated 7 times hotter.  The fire was so hot that it killed the soldiers who threw SMA in.  When the King looked in he saw 4 men walking around in the fire unbound.  The King described the fourth man as looking like a god; and he was so amazed he called them to come out.  It was as if SMA hadn’t been in the fire at all!  Neither their clothes, hair nor bodies were harmed.

Three men were thrown in but the King saw 4 men unbound.  The fourth man was God.  As much as SMA didn’t want to go in the fire God allowed it anyway.  God did not abandon them in their darkest hour tho.  He didn’t magically turn on the sprinkler system and make the fire go out or have fireproof suits appear.  No, SMA stayed in the fire BUT they weren’t alone.  God was with them!  He stayed and loved and protected them from the fire that were were walking in.  When they were thrown in the fire, they were firmly bound.  When they came out they were unbound.  The King was using the fire to kill them.  God was using the fire to unbind them.

What fire are you walking through?  If you’re lucky, you’re not in a fire BUT don’t get comfortable; one’s coming.  God never promised us an easy life.  In fact, He straight up tells us it’s gonna be hard.  “In this world, you will have trouble but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33.  Take heart, I have overcome the world.  That’s the promise of a loving God, of a God who saves.

You may feel like you’re walking around alone, unloved or unseen, like God has totally abandoned you and is ignoring your prayers and face down on the ground pleads for help.  You may feel like He’s making you suffer for that bad choice you made or that good deed you didn’t do…HE ISN’T, please believe that.  The very thing you are praying to be delivered from, God will use to deliver you.

If you are in a fire right now, face it head on!  It sucks I know, but you’re not alone and you will get through it.  God is right there with you and you will come out stronger and better!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain!

34

16 Jun

Last week I turned 34. 

It didn’t hit me hard, which is good, because I wasn’t anticipating it would.  It was just another day, well almost, the only difference was this day revolved around me.  😉 

I woke up early.  No excuses today.  I had a point to prove; I had to 34 who’s boss.  I vetoed sleeping late and breakfast in bed and ran 5 miles.  While running, I think and pray but mostly try not to fall because I’m too busy singing and dancing to my “Spice Girls” station on Pandora.  I don’t care what my husband says its the best station ever!  It plays everything from NKOTB to Destiny’s Child to Justin Timberlake to Paula Abdul…pure greatness!

My husband bought me running shoes for my birthday.  It’s like pulling teeth to get me to buy a new pair.  I will run them into the ground till my toes are about to fall off before I get new ones.  I found a beautiful, full priced, pink pair but decided to look at the clearance wall because that’s what I do.  I found the same shoe for $20 less but it was blue.  I hate paying full price for anything but I really wanted the pink pair.  My husband knew there was an internal conflict commencing in my brain and he MADE me get the pink ones…I’m glad he did because they are amazing.  I ran 5 miles the next day as well and decided to cash in my free birthday drink from Starbucks.  Thanks to social media, I snapped a picture and shared it with the whole world. lol

birthday shoes

34 has been good to me.  I have 2 daughters and a wonderful husband who works hard so I can stay home with them.  13 years ago when I was off earning my Bachelor’s Degree I never expected to be a stay home mom.  Some days are hard and I think I’m crazy for wanting another baby.  Some days are a cake walk and I think I can handle 5 more.  It’s funny how life turns out.  Just when we think we’ve got it figured out something gives.

Noting in this life is sure, there are no guarantees.  The only constant we have is God’s love.  No matter what gets thrown at us, what takes our breath away, or what drops us to our knees, we can rest in the fact that we are not alone.  God is with us.  He fights our battles for us when we are too weak.  He loves us.  He sees us and will never leave us.

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.  He will never fail you or abandon you.  Deut 31:6.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Bubble Wrap

8 Jun

Our TV has been going out for months.  Half of the screen goes black, you have to bang the heck out of the bottom, right corner.  If you’re lucky that fixes it, but usually it just causes the screen to flip and the opposite side goes black.  My husband has been trying to convince me we need a new one.  We don’t watch a lot of TV so I can totally deal with only watching half a screen.  Every time he mentions it, “1st world problem” and “I’m pretty sure no parent in Africa has ever uttered those words, ever!” comes out of my mouth.  Then it happened, all of a sudden the screen went from normal to a brilliant display of orange and yellow and then it was no more.  I was sad because the hubs was changing the baby’s diaper and he missed the final moment.

My living room floor is covered in a layer of bubble wrap and there is a new and bigger TV hanging on my wall, I lost the argument.  But I refuse to budge on the “We Don’t Need Cable” stand I took 6 years ago.

My girls have been digging the bubble wrap for the last several hours.  The big one has been popping, stomping, rolling and making contests of who can pop the most bubbles the fastest.  The baby is just happy playing peek-a-boo.  I had fun popping them for about 10 minutes but now I’m totally over the constant noise.

FullSizeRender

This got me thinking, isn’t bubble wrap just like life?  Something so fun and exciting can quickly turn into something so irritating.  How often do we start something new (exercising or eating healthy or a new daily routine) and we’re so gung-ho, but it’s harder than we anticipated and it quickly turns into a pain in the butt and we get discouraged and stop?

I run.  I love working up a sweat and when I hear my running app tell me I’m on mile 4, I feel so accomplished.  As much as I love it tho, I can talk myself out of running in a heartbeat.  Getting motivated is the hardest part but once I’m dressed in my running clothes, it’s game on.

If you’re starting something new, good luck, I wish you success!  You’ll have days where you want to quit.  You’ll have days where the pain is just too much.  If you’re here, I want to encourage you to stick with it.  Take a step back and remember why you decided to start in the first place.  The results will be worth the pain, I promise!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Pat Yourself on the Back

3 Jun

Today I was texting my pastor (well, he’s more than a pastor, he’s my friend, mentor, husband to a dear friend, father to amazing kids, Jesus lover and world changer)…anyway…I gave him a compliment for working so hard on our church’s new website.  The funny thing is, he wasn’t looking for a compliment and almost didn’t take it.  Sometimes compliments catch us by surprise.  Sometimes we don’t think we deserve them.  Sometimes we desperately crave one but no one is there to offer one.

If you don’t know this about me, I’m a Stay Home Mom.  I went into labor at work (was in denial so I drove myself to the hospital only to find out I was dilated to a 6) and never returned after my maternity leave.  It wasn’t planned it just happened.

I spend my days with a 13 month old while the big one’s at school (Summer Break starts in 2 days so I’m soaking in my last 48 hours of 1 child at my heels all day long.)  It only took a year, but I feel like I finally got this stay home mom thing down. The baby sleeps through the night now (angels sing hallelujah) which is a game changer and I can take on the world!  I can breath again, I finally stopped be a sleep-deprived-crank-monkey and started being silly again.  And now we’re gonna mess it up because we’re trying for another baby.

Today is Wednesday and Wednesday nights are hectic.  I rush home after the big one gets out of dance practice and throw something on the stove for dinner, we scarf it down then my husband runs out the door for worship practice.  Well, I planned ahead today.  I’m making Sloppy Joes for dinner; fancy, I know.  It’s 10 am I just chopped the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms because I knew I wouldn’t have time tonight.  I put the container of veggies in the fridge and stood there smiling feeling pretty proud of myself…this must be what Edmund Hillary felt like after conquering Mt Everest!

I look around and no one is here to join in my celebratory dance.  No one is here to say good job Katie or give me a hi-five.  No one is here to see that I just saved me 15 minutes of precious time in dinner preparation.  This is my company right now, and I’m not about to wake that sleeping giant:

Willow

Dear mamma out there about to pull your hair out.  I know you have days where you feel unnoticed or unappreciated. I know you have days where you spend all day taking care of a young child, or maybe your day is spent taking care of an elderly parent, and you just feel unseen.  I know, I have days like that too.

The truth is you are seen.  You are noticed.  YOU.ARE.LOVED.  You are the daughter of a heavenly king and He sees everything you do.  He created the awe inspiring beauty of the stars down to the subtle beauty of a daisy and He created you.  He knew you from the beginning of time and has loved you ever since!

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.  I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.  You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.  You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.  I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going.  This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in!  Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?  If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there!  If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting!  Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!”  It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.  Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.  I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.  Your thoughts – how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them!  I couldn’t even begin to count them – any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! – Psalm 139:1-18 The Message
All those little things you do today that will go unnoticed, they’re noticed.  Sometimes we get too busy to point them out or say thank you so I’m gonna say it.  Mamma, thank you for all you do, go ahead and pat your self on the back, you deserve it!  Tonight, when you tuck a sweet one in and steel one last kiss and hear a sleepily whispered “I love you,” breathe that moment in.  You worked hard today.  You loved and that’s what matters.
Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.