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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Middle

The middle of anything is always the hardest. Think about your life for a moment...

Are you a mom or dad?
Are you a wife or husband?
Are you a Christian?
Are you employed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can relate to this message. Think back to the beginning of each of these endeavors. 

"finding out you're pregnant"
"the honeymoon phase"
"on fire, first found Jesus"
"first few weeks on the job"

Isn't it true....the beginning is exciting, it's new, it's fresh, it's out of your ordinary routine. The end is exciting too. All your hard work pays off. It's the middle where we get frustrated, learn the most, work the hardest, make or break. It's in the middle that satan will whisper to you "you should just give up", "you can't make it", "why do you even try". You have to lean on God who will whisper "you can", "I believe in you", "let me guide you". The middle is where we get lazy, we get comfortable, we get passive and let life change us. Take control of the middle, don't lose sight of the goal. Don't get lazy, keep your spark. We can't be excited about things Monday, Friday, and Saturday....it's the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday that we make the biggest difference.

Dear God,
Help me stay focus and passionate in the middle. The middle is where YOU are refining me. The middle is the main course. I need your help to not get lazy during this time. My flesh needs constant entertainment, newness, and excitement. Holy Spirit show me how to live in the calm times, in the boring times, in the middle. I love you, and I want to live for YOU even when it's not easy. I can't do it without YOU!

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's NOT the thought that counts

Did you catch the title? Doesn't that go against every teaching we've ever had? This morning in my quiet time and study, I came across an interesting concept. So many times we let ourselves off the hook because "our heart was in the right place", "we meant well", or we have the "it was the thought that counts" mindset. 

God revealed to me this morning, that the concept is backwards. Has Jesus ever whispered to you, "Well, I THOUGHT about waking you up this morning, but then I got busy." Wouldn't that be bad?? We have to keep our eyes wide open for God moments. Sometimes, they may be obvious like helping a needy family, spending time with God, praying with our family. Sometimes they may be less obvious like picking up a piece of trash as you walk by it, leaving an unexpected note on your spouse's pillow, surprising your kids at school for lunch. Stop for a moment and think of how much time you spend on things that DON'T MATTER. It is true that in life a percentage of our time will be those things. However, it should not be the focus. Imagine this, in the mornings if it takes you 15 minutes to fix your hair, 15 minutes to put on makeup, and 30 minutes to watch GMA while you drink your coffee. You have already spent an hour on things that will not make an eternal difference. Now, I am not saying go to work without brushing your hair, but my point is to take a look at your life. 

We can't tell our God, our husbands, our kids, our families after we are gone "oh, I meant to get to that ballgame" or "oh I really thought about calling you" or "sorry I couldn't make it, but I was thinking of you guys". Get off the couch, get rid of unnecessary priorities, and get in your life an alignment. It's not the thought that counts, it's your actions that count.

Dear God,
Please help me slow down today and focus on what's important. I can get so caught up in life that I miss opportunities to make a difference. Help me to keep my word and not make idle promises. You are the only one that knows my heart, so my family and friends don't realize that I had good intentions. Intentions don't matter, it's the actions that count. Change me heart, change my mind, and change my schedule.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life is like Baseball

As one season comes to end, we are stepping into the season of cleats and umpires....yes, that would be baseball season. With the excitement in the air, I'm trying to get the boys back into the "swing" of things. Today as I was thinking about how to help them become better hitters, I couldn't help but make connections with life in general. 

To become a great hitter, you must do several things....all of which can be directly related to our lives as Christians. It is my prayer that this list will do 2 things, help you view your walk in a different light AND help you become a better baseball hitter :)

1. Line your knuckles up - In order to get the proper rotation of your wrist as you swing, you must have the knuckles you knock with lined up. This feels very uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. It is amazing to see the power that comes from such a simple change. 
LIFE LESSON - (faithfulness) Keep your life aligned with Jesus Christ. It will be a very difficult first step, until you see the results. It is not natural, so you will have to be consciously aware of the alignment. Before you know it, you will wake up every morning and automatically line up with Him. 

2. Wait for the right pitch - Regardless of ability, if you step into the box blindly swinging away at every pitch you get, you will most likely strike out. You have to be selective. You have to have enough confidence and experience to know which pitches to go for and which ones to let go. You have to be able to make a quick decision, read the pitcher, be ready, and attack. It only takes one pitch!
LIFE LESSON - (self control) Life will throw you all kinds of pitches, some straight down the middle, some in the dirt, some will hit you, some will be over your head. You have to use your alignment/relationship with God to decipher those pitches/decisions. Usually these pitches come in the way of priorities and decisions. Just because something is a "good" thing, doesn't mean it's a "God" thing. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into which pitches to swing at.

3. Get your stance right - If you are off balance, you can't swing with all your might. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, not too close to the plate, keep your head in, and weight on your back foot. All these steps will become automatic with practice. It sounds like alot to remember, but it all flows together seamlessly. 
LIFE LESSON - (love, joy, peace, kindness) Our lives MUST be balanced. It is impossible to fight off the enemy without balance. We have to keep our priorities in line, without overloading our lives with junk. Before we know it, the world, the enemy, our flesh will sneak up on us and get us distracted. We have to remember to use balance to keep us from tilting to extremes. 

4. Believe in your swing - You can do all of the previous, but have no confidence and strike out every time. Babe Ruth struck out more than he got a hit, but he didn't quit believing in himself. You have to understand that striking out comes with the territory. If you choose to hang your head, or throw you bat after a strike out, you have it all backwards. A strike out does not mean you are no good, so don't let it effect your confidence.
LIFE LESSON - (gentleness) We must have a calm spirit within us. When life throws us difficult times, we can't throw our bats and hang our heads. We have to get back in the box, believe in what we know NOT what we are feeling. Know that the next time, we may strike out again, but we will not give up the fight. 

5. Expect a great hit and then run like crazy - We have to expect to get a hit, we can't just HOPE. With confidence, even though we know we won't get a hit every time, we will surely do better. When we do get a hit, we have to run to take full advantage of it. Be prepared to slide and get dirty if it's close.
LIFE LESSON - We are on the winning team, so act like it. Jesus Christ has paid the price. EXPECT great things. Our God doesn't want us to suffer. Although life does deal us those hands sometimes, get up, move on, and EXPECT to be a winner. Get dirty, help people, be a light, and act like a WINNER.

Dear God,
Please help me become a better hitter for YOU. Help me to understand that I can't remember all of these steps each time I step into the box of daily life, but I can depend on YOU to guide my balance, my swing, my confidence, and my selection. Help me to step aside, and let you take control. Help me to hit a homerun for YOU!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bring out the Positive

On any given day, there are WAY more positive things that happen to you than negative. Have you ever REALLY sat and thought about that? Sometimes when we ask people, "how was your day?" They respond, "not so good." If we were honest, we would say EVERYDAY is a great day. Now, I'm not so positive that I never have a rough day. Somedays I feel like staying in bed. Somedays I want to scream. BUT, what I AM saying is that no matter how bad our day may SEEM, there have been many more positive things that happened during those 24 hours than negative. Often it seems the other way around.

Why do we feel like there is more negative? Ironically, it's because the good and positive things are so common that we often overlook them. In contrast, the negative, troubling things get our attention because the are, for the most part, unusual. Instead of letting the small number of difficulties cloud your thinking and grab your attention, make an effort and work to make the positive things your priority. Challenge yourself to make a mental list each day of at least 20 things that were good, valuable, positive things that come your way. The list can be as simple as "I woke up". Those are the things we overlook.

Most people, if asked, can quickly rattle off their list of troubles and problems.They would quickly be able to name at least 10 things. Put some effort into bringing out the positive, and I promise it will change your thinking.

Change your thoughts to positive, and you will be surprised how little your "negative" list gets :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Have you ever watched a kid try to concentrate on something, and a new toy commercial comes on? What happens? They are EASILY distracted. This is where my first thought on positive thinking comes from....

when we find ourselves beginning to feel overwhelmed by negativity, stress, doubt, or unworthiness you can always CHOOSE to become distracted...to break the pattern. When you think these thoughts, stop for 3-4 minutes and meditate on these ideas:

1. At least 2 people in the world love you so much that they would die for you.
2. At least 15 people in the world love you in some way.
3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
4. Everynight someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
5. You mean the world to someone.
6. If not for you, someone may not be living.
7. You are special and unique.
8. Someone that you don't even know exists has been impacted by you.

These thoughts of peacefulness, gratitude, and acceptance can make us feel like the worthy champions we are. Breathe deep and relax. Focus on how fortunate we really are. In a few short moments you will break free from the negative thoughts that only a few moments earlier held you captive. When we are positive, we are in control.

I'm no theology expert, but I do know that God's Word never contradicts itself. My bible says that I was created in the image of God. It also says, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into anew person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is goodand pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2

The world tells us to be negative, to take the easy way out, that we are doomed because of our mistakes. But the good news is, that's all a lie from the enemy. The truth is, we are on the winning team, so let's act like it. Even if you don't believe the positive thoughts, continue repeating them, and eventually they will become your reality.

Make a conscious choice to interuppt the negativity...it can change your world profoundly!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Power of Thoughts

I am beginning a new study...the power of our thoughts. I have decided to turn it into sort of a college course, so I can learn everything possible God wants us to know about thoughts. I think our thoughts are the number one way Satan attacks our lives. Our thoughts control everything. Think about a day or time when your thoughts didn't have power over you. Have you ever tried to diet? Have you ever worried about money? Have you ever thrown clothes all over the floor in the morning as you're trying to find something that you think looks good on you? Have you ever lost your temper or said something you wish you could take back? Have you ever asked yourself, "what was I thinking?" If you have say no to all of these questions, CONGRATS...you have mastered the art of your thoughts. However, if you are like the majority of people, including myself, we have to answer yes to most, if not all, of these questions. If so, I hope this study and blog adventure will help us all. Each day I plan on reasearching, reading, and praying for wisdom in this area of my life.

I do know a few things regarding thoughts already. I know that I have two choices for leaving legacies in my kids and family. The first choice is from satan and says to make their lives miserable because of my insecurities and weaknesses. It says to work out my own fears and issues through being a mother and wife. The enemy says that my unresolved issues don't hurt anyone else. The enemy says I'm unworthy.

HOWEVER, my bible says this: that my unresolved issues transmit spiritual negativity and doubt to others. That I should walk free of doubt, unforgiveness, negativity, and worry. Well, I have decided that my boys and my husband are not going to know some woman who was full of hurt, but that they will know a super woman. Where they will have to say, "please stop...you're so full of God that you are embarrassing me."

I want my family to be full of strength and full of God, and not have those hindered by my own weaknesses. Thus, I am beginning this "thought" study. How can we change our thoughts, even if we don't believe them, to create a postive environment. I cannot control what has happened to me in the past, none of us can. It happened. The blood of Jesus Christ does not give us amnesia, but it DOES give us a life beyond our past.  So, I can't change my past, BUT I can change my future. I can assure that generations after me will be full of faith and powerful thoughts to be history makers.

I have learned, in my few years, that great legacies are not left by GREAT and PERFECT people, but by broken people that are overcomers. The only way to be an overcomer is by our thoughts. I bet if I asked you who was the most influential person in your life, you would name some average person, not some professional athlete or star. We have to say "we are not great, but we serve a GREAT GOD". In my weakness, HIS strength is perfect. I look forward to this journey and can't wait to share all I am discovering. Who knows where this will go, but please join along. Feel free to leave comments or thoughts to add to the knowledge.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Love in the Home

Unfortunately, we began hearing on the news today about Casey Anthony and her anticipated trial. As I watched her in the courtroom with no emotion, I couldn't help but think of my own children. How precious they are, and what an honor it is that God chose me to raise them. I couldn't imagine a mother harming her own child...I can't even imagine harming ANY human, much less your own child. Thoughts of home, family, and love flooded my mind today as I walked around and interacted with the boys. These are my thoughts:

If I live in a spotless house with everything in its place, but there is no love, I am a housekeeper - - not a homemaker.

If I have time for sweeping, dusting, and organizing, but have no time to play on the floor with my kids, my children learn cleanliness, but not Godliness.

If I make time for Facebook, but don't pray with my children, I allow technology to set their priorities.

If I laugh at tv shows, but don't listen and laugh at their knock-knock jokes, I am disconnected - - not a self-esteem builder.

If I tuck them in at night, I am fulfilling my duty, but if I slide a post-it note under their pillow as they sleep reminding them how special they are, I become a part of forming the next generation of strong leaders.

I I make lunches, I'm a mom, but if I let them help (no matter how much of a mess we make), I am teaching independence.

If I buy them everything they want, I am pretty cool to them, but if I make them save their money until they can buy it, I am teaching responsibility.

Love smiles at fingerprints on the freshly cleaned door, even though your flesh wants to scream, "I JUST WASHED THAT!!!"

Love wipes the tears BEFORE it wipes up the spilled cereal. Love picks up the child BEFORE it picks up the toys.

Love make them brush their teeth. Love asks them how can I pray for them. Love puts the bike ride BEFORE the laundry. Love watches Full House before Nancy Grace.Love has boundaries and expects the best. Love is a teacher. In love, I should not require anything of my children that I am not willing to do. I can't say pray, if I'm not. I can't say eat right, if I'm not. I can't say, respect your father, if I'm not. I can't say love, if I'm not.

Love also (against wordly views) reprimands and expects respect and manners. Before children, I took pride in perfect order. As a mother, there is much I must teach my children, but the greatest of all is LOVE.

Dear God,
Thank you for my children. Thank you for my husband and family. Thank you for the example you set for us, to love above all. Thank you that everything is not perfect all the time...that would be boring!! I am so honored to serve you and take great pride in raises your children. I feel blessed and honored, and take very serioud the job you have given me to teach Dylan and Cody how to be world changers and history makers. Thank you for staying close to me, so I will know what to do and say when my flesh wants to yell and scream. Please hold their hand as they grow older, so that they never turn from Your path.