Shabby Blogs

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mandisa

This video is actually more than 2 years old but I just found it today and want to share it with you. I don't know much about Mandisa, and I only have one of her songs as of right now, but she is an amazing example to us. Watch this video and hear about her experience with forgiveness and her journey through breaking the chains of food addiction.




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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's here!

Today’s the day.

I am 40 today.

Does that mean I’m all grown up now?

It’s almost like there’s no way to be 40 and not be.

That’s the age everyone thinks is so far in the future, like we’ll never get there. Almost unattainable.

But I assure you it is attainable.

I have found it today.

I feel differently than I thought I would. I’m not hating it. I guess because I know I can’t stop time. I can’t stop aging. So why not just be a big girl? There are things that come with getting older, and many of them wonderful. Just yesterday Tim and I were talking about how hindsight is so great. At this age it’s so easy to look back and see things we didn’t see or see things in a better light. To see things with a different, more mature, perspective. And we have to be careful not to expect the younger generations to be at a level of understanding that took us 40 years to reach. We all have to go through stages of learning. We all have to experience pain & life to learn.

I know my life is far from over, but I’m so glad to be on this side of growing up. While the sagging skin isn't ideal, I am appreciative of the wisdom that comes with aging. And the relationships in my life and with my husband and kids is priceless. I would not trade my life for anything. I know God has a purpose for every piece of it and I trust Him.

I hope to walk out the next 40 years with grace and complete trust in my Maker. I want to follow Him wholeheartedly and completely surrendered. I love Acts 20:24 “I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Lord Jesus, help me live a surrendered and thankful life! Thank You for the 40 years I’ve been given on this broken earth, to walk out Your story and to share Your love with other people. Thank You for counting me worthy of Your Kingdom work. Thank You for enabling me and empowering me to walk Your path. Don’t ever let me go.

I am forever Yours!!!

Here are some pics from my family birthday party last night. Unfortunately my mom & sister-in-law were both sick and missed our fun dinner! Remember what I said about hindsight? Well, I realize now that I kind of "overdid" pics of myself, but I wanted to have a picture with everyone and it was easier to do this than get everyone together for a group photo!

Nephew, Bobby

My son and his wife, and my very precious granddaughter

Sister-in-law, Cindi

My precious daughter and nieces

My brother, Peter

Good friend Gwen

Niece, Sara

My son and our "land" daughter (you know, like a landlord only she's like a daughter who lives with us), Katie

Brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dan & Cindi

Very special mother-in-law

VERY SPECIAL MAN :)

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Submission in Marriage

God showed me something this week that I want to share with you in hopes of encouraging you.

We all know the Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands. But this is so hard, and even can be confusing, when our husbands show their "fleshly" side. (By "fleshly" I mean sinful.)

I don't think most women would actually say that they only have to submit to their husbands when their husbands are right or when they agree with them, however, that's exactly how a lot of us act. When our husbands try to lead us down a road we think is wrong, we put up a fight. And sometimes we plain don't follow.

  • What if my husband tells me to get a job because we are struggling to make ends meet but I want to homeschool my kids?
  • What if my husband often puts his own feelings before mine?
  • What if my husband says we can't afford private school for the kids anymore and wants to put them in public school but I am fearful they will be led astray in that environment?
  • Or what if he says he just doesn't want to pay for private school anymore, even though we can afford it?
  • What if my husband says we are moving but I don't see the need?
  • What if he tells me he wants me to wear sunscreen but I don't like the chemicals on my skin? (You may laugh but this is an example from personal experience!)

There are endless scenarios to which this could apply.

However, God has clearly told us what to do in a situation like this. Hang with me for a minute while I set the stage...

1 Peter 2:18 tells slaves (which wives are not) "...in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh."

I found myself wondering if this could be applied to wives as well, knowing that I have not read anything in the Bible that puts it in these exact terms for wives. So I kept reading. Peter goes on to talk about what it looks like for a slave to submit to masters even when they are harsh. And then right after that he says in 1 Peter 3:1, "Wives, in the SAME WAY submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."

"In the same way" points to the previous thing that was said, which was about slaves submitting to their masters even when they're harsh. When they are unfair and unkind we are still to submit to their authority. The same goes for husbands who are harsh or unfair or sometimes just plain wrong.

Think back to when Jesus walked this broken earth. Was He treated fairly? Were the people always kind to Him? Were the people right in their accusations of Him? No. But did He ever retaliate or act unkind or unloving to anyone? Never. Jesus suffered greatly for us at the hands of sinful men. He wants us to follow His example. And He has equipped believers to walk this out with His help.

1 Peter 2:20-21 "But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

Even when our husbands are believers and follow Jesus, we can still win them over with our behavior to love Jesus even more. Our men, those who love Jesus and those who don't, will fail us sometimes. They will make decisions based on selfish motives, but God has still commanded us to follow them anyway, knowing that it will develop our character to do the right thing (James 1:2-3). It will deepen our walk with God to suffer in this way, because Jesus suffered for us.

The remainder of 1 Peter 3 talks about suffering for doing good.  It's no accident that it follows the command for wives to submit to their husbands in the same way slaves should submit to their masters.

God knows your heart, dear friend. He knows it's hard to do the right thing over and over again while your spouse may not. He wants us all to stop looking horizontally and to stop comparing ourselves to the people around us, even our husbands, and He wants us to look up to Him and strive for godliness (Philippians 2). Focus on doing the right thing for Jesus, because He did the right thing for you, and don't worry about what your husband is or isn't doing.  It doesn't matter. God has given you a desire to follow Him and make the right choices so walk in that.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

New York City!

To see a slideshow of our pics click here.

New York was amazing!!  I'm so glad we decided to go for my birthday instead of the beach, although I have no doubt that would have also been amazing.  We were so busy while we were there that it almost wasn't a vacation; however, not needing to feed my family, do the laundry, clean the house, etc. was still a nice vacation!  We were also able to spend 2 days with our youngest son (20) who lives in New Jersey.

We saw Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular (starring the Rockettes) and Annie on Broadway - both were amazing!  However, Annie was our favorite. Annie is a big part of my childhood...I actually got an Annie wig and robe for Christmas (yes, I'm that cool) one year. LOVE ME SOME ANNIE.

We experienced New York City snow twice.  Both times pretty mild.

video


video


We spent 4-5 hours in the Museum of Natural History...you know, where Night at the Museum was supposedly "filmed".  I say that because the museum is quite different from what you see in the movie.  After doing some research (by "research" I mean I googled it and had an answer in about 5 seconds), I found out the movie was not filmed in the museum.  This came as no surprise to me because the museum looks nothing like what you see in the movie.  But there were many things in the museum that were in the movie so those were fun to see.  You'll see some of those things in my slideshow below.

We took a walk in Central Park, visited Macy's, saw the gigantic Toys 'R Us with the ferris wheel in the middle, went to Times Square, FAO Schwarz, saw the "Big" piano, rode the subway many times, walked past Trump Tower, went to the Apple store, spent time at the 9/11 Memorial and saw the new Freedom Tower and the memorial pools (where the twin towers stood), saw the Brooklyn Bridge, walked 1,021 miles, saw the Statue of Liberty from a boat (couldn't get tickets to go inside), experienced M&M World, Hershey's Chocolate World, got a photo taken with "Jack Sparrow", went to Top of the Rock (top of Rockefeller Center), saw the Empire State Building & the Chrysler Building & Central Park from way up high, saw the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, took a pic of the Rockefeller ice skating rink (way smaller than it looks on TV), and took a carriage ridge through Central Park (brrrr!).

How's that for a full vacation??

So.much.fun.

Can't wait to go back.

My husband is THE BEST.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Mankind helps out a baby squirrel...

I just have a second to post so it's a short one.  Enjoy!

As a huge animal lover, this video really warms my heart and reminds me of God's command for us to care for the animals He created.

"The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel." Proverbs 12:10







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Monday, November 4, 2013

My 40th Birthday...drum roll please...

I have added 2 new pages to my blog.  You can find them in the tabs at the top of this page...Need a Laugh? and My Favorite Videos.  These are my favorite videos on YouTube that I hope make you smile and encourage you.

Tim and I have decided our destination for my 40th birthday...drum roll please...

NEW YORK CITY!!!

My sister-in-law told me how much she loves NYC and how beautiful it is during December (thank you, Jodi!). We have decided to go the 2nd week of December which is a month before my actual birthday.  I'm okay with that.

I am so excited for this trip - Tim and I have always wanted to visit NYC but just haven't made the time or effort to go.  This will be amazing!

And believe it or not, I am looking forward to this climate...





Can't wait to come back with lots of pictures and news to share!


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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Do Not Be Discouraged

My favorite devotional is called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  It's encouragement from Jesus and I believe He empowered her to write this book.  She speaks using Scripture from God's Word in a way that is easier to grasp.


Yesterday's encouragement really spoke to me, maybe because of the season I'm in, but I hope it speaks to you as well:

"Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that your heart's desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you. First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life.  I am pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence.

When you realize that your mind has wandered away from Me, don't be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you.  Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory.  Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they will increasingly light up your days." (Italics mine.)

Romans 8:33-34
Hebrews 4:14-16

I'm so thankful that God sees my heart!!  He knows that my desire is to earnestly seek Him and honor Him in all I do, even though I fall short.  He doesn't expect perfection, He just wants me to seek Him.  And when I seek Him, I find complete satisfaction that cannot be found anywhere else.

Jeremiah 29:13 encourages my weary heart: "If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."

All He wants is your heart, precious child.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tropical or Wintery? I need YOUR help...



I am turning 40 in January.

I can't even believe that sentence.

How did I get to be almost 40?

For those of you who are above 40, you probably want me to stop my whining, but the people under 40 surely understand...or maybe they want this old lady to stop her whining too.

Anyway.

Remember when 40 seemed so old?

(Okay, so this is slightly exaggerated.)

You never thought you'd get there...or at least it was a million years away.

Well, a million years went by super fast.

So here I am...39 for just a few more short months.  I have hated getting older, but as most people do, I have realized that I can do nothing about it.

N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

Absolutely nothing.

No matter how hard I try.

No matter how much I hate it.

No matter what I do to make time stop, it won't.

So, I guess I better just deal with it.

I better just cowboy up, huh?

So I told my husband I would like a big party AND a trip.

Spoiled?  Yes.  Getting any younger? Nope.

Here's my dilemma...I love the beach.  I love sitting in the sun.  I love being warm (not hot like Texas).

I do not love cold weather with snow and ice and layers and layers of clothing, however, I love hot chocolate and fires.  I actually do love snow for a short period of time - a few days at the most.  Then I'm ready for warm again.

So I'm trying to decide WHERE my man should take me for my birthday.

Hubby suggested a 14 day Hawaiian cruise.  Whoa!  Can I survive on the water for that long?

Or we could do something like Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic.  Or New York!!  Or a secluded cabin in Colorado.







Tropical or wintery?

I cannot decide.

I need YOUR opinions!  Please comment and tell me your favorite vacation spot - warm or cold - and remember that my birthday is in January so that might sway your suggestion.

THANK YOU!!  :)
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Best.Song.Ever.

We have found a new group and we are in love.

Meet Rend Collective Experiment.



This is my family's new favorite song:


Build Your Kingdom Here

Come set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again
Increase in us we pray
Unveil why we're made
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit come invade us now
We are Your Church
We need Your power
In us

We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You're our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt, the sick, the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for heaven's cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This earth

Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray

Unleash Your kingdoms power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope
On earth

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Are you heartbroken?

Today is a hard day.

Although I started my day feeling defeated, I am not defeated.  I am encouraged and hopeful.  Through the words my husband spoke to me this morning and verses God brought to mind, and then a blog post that encouraged me, I know God is with me and encouraging me through a hard time.  Thank you Lord Jesus for your comfort and guidance!!

Yesterday I did something that was really hard to do but something the Lord lead me to.  After doing it I continued to pray for God's guidance and for His will to be done.  Then, out of nowhere, a rush of unexpected feelings came over me.  I was ashamed, scared, embarrassed, unsure, insecure.  Had I done the right thing?  What if they are angry with me?  It's too much.  I shouldn't have put that on someone else.  Could God really use me to reach someone?

Who do you think those thoughts came from?

Certainly not my God!  Nothing is impossible for Him!  Nothing is beyond His reach.  And I was obedient to what I felt the Lord calling me to do.

Those thoughts and feelings that flooded my soul came straight from the devil himself.

I had a hard time shaking those feelings, even though I knew where they came from.  The reason Satan is so effective is because he's good at what he does.  He's CONVINCING.  But I heard the Lord also speaking to me in a still, quiet voice.  He reminded me of Acts 20:24 - "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."  The difficult thing I did yesterday was testify - in a very personal and transparent way - to the good news of God's grace to someone who I'm not sure will receive it.

And Isaiah 6:8 - "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"  Isaiah 6:8 has been my prayer and my hope since the first day I read it.

God heard my prayer and has answered it on more than one occasion.

This is one of those occasions.

Guess what?  Following Jesus isn't about me and my inadequacy; it's about Him.

And that's my focus now.

I followed what Jesus lead me to do, and He has a plan.  I will trust Him.

Because we know that the enemy attacks after we've done something for the Kindgom I knew last night that I would need to be on guard today.  I knew that even though I went to bed last night feeling better that today might be a battle for me.  I knew Satan would try to discourage me somehow.  And he did.

A couple of things happened this morning that totally got me feeling sorry for myself.  And the pity party began.  Poor me.  Poor me.  Poor me.

I went to my room to lay down (poor me, I need to lay down and feel sorry for myself) and of course the Holy Spirit prompted Tim to ask me if something was wrong.  I didn't want to tell him because honestly I was embarrassed by my selfish feelings.  But I told him anyway.  I told him I was in a tug-of-war. I was feeling all these things I knew were from the enemy and I knew I should be on guard because of the difficult thing I did the day before.  But my amazing God was on my other shoulder encouraging me through my husband who encouraged me by telling me he had been in a tug-of-war the day before.  He had chosen to put on a worship song (Build Your Kingdom Here) to get positive thinking on his side, to pull harder on the rope, so he could win his tug-of-war.  He encouraged me to do the same, whatever that might look like for me.

God has since filled me with hope and a desire to not sit in self-pity. I don't want to live like that.  I want my life to reflect Christ.  I want to be trustworthy with His Kingdom work and I want to be available and willing whenever He needs me.  Lord, help me do this!  FILL ME to overflowing and help me walk this walk.

Then I read that great blog post I mentioned in an earlier post.  The following is exactly what I needed to hear today:

"Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says – “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart."

My heart isn't exactly "broken" but it's hurt.  I want the Lord to help me understand how to navigate HIS way through my brokenness and hurt.  I know that these trials, or heartbreaks, bring me closer to Him when I surrender to Him and believe that He has a purpose for ALL trials.  I will have victory.  Healing will come.

Are you trusting Him today with your heartbreak?
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Thank Him for Breaking Your Heart

Recently I've been following a new blog and today I want to point you to her post in hopes of encouraging you through a difficult time.  If you are experiencing heartbreak on any level or just going through something hard, read her post.  If you are not, read her post anyway...you never know when you'll need to reference back to it.

Thank Him for Breaking Your Heart, Losing Erika


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Friday, September 20, 2013

God's Design for Marriage

Tim and I are in our 4th semester of leading a marriage small group at our church.  God called us into the marriage ministry just over 2 years ago, and we love it.  We have experienced redemption and restoration in our own marriage and want to encourage other couples to believe God for the same thing in their marriages.

In your opinion, what is the purpose of marriage?

I'd be willing to bet that most people would answer that question with something about having their own needs met...wanting to be loved and have companionship through life...doing life with someone you love.

None of those reasons are wrong.  In fact, I believe God designed us with those desires.

However, God is the only Meeter of those needs.

No spouse can ever fulfill those things for us perfectly.  And if we put our hopes and dreams in our spouse to meet our needs, we will come up dry.  As humans, we are sinners, right?  We fail.  We let others down.  We are selfish creatures.

If you are a follower of Christ, do you believe Him to be true to His Word?  Do you really trust Him with your life?  With every nook and cranny?  With every emotion of your heart and every detail of your relationships?

God promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Deut. 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.") He also said in Mark 10:9 concerning marriage, "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

He will not call us somewhere and then leave us there without His guidance.

You may ask, "How do I know that God joined my spouse and I together? What if I married the wrong person?"

Zig Ziglar said it well: "I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person, but I do know that many people have a lot of wrong ideas about marriage and what it takes to make that marriage happy and successful. I'll be the first to admit that it's possible that you did marry the wrong person. However, if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. On the other hand, if you marry the right person, and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended up marrying the wrong person. I also know that it is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person. In short, whether you married the right or wrong person is primarily up to you."

The Art of Marriage proposes that marriage is not primarily about you, but that the ultimate purpose of marriage is to reflect God's image.  Gary Thomas, in Sacred Marriage, suggests that the purpose of marriage is to make us holy rather than happy.

Ouch...that hurts.

The good news is the God I love has nothing but greatness in store for me! He designed me to serve and worship Him.  Part of serving Him is putting myself aside and putting Him and others first (Philippians 2).  What does that look like?  It means trusting Him with everything in my life, even my mistakes.  What if I foolishly marry someone who isn't my ideal mate?  Trust God anyway.  God is bigger than any mistake I can make.  He can right any wrong.  If I marry the "wrong" person, God can redeem that marriage and make it amazing.  He's in the business of changing hearts, after all.  The kicker is that we must focus on His changing OUR heart, not our spouse's.

God is also in the business of refining us for His glory.

That means letting go of our self-serving desires and surrendering ourselves to His will.  Because He has amazing things waiting for us behind that door.  More than we can imagine - Ephesians 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."  Ephesians 1:18-20, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."

If you are struggling with this idea, I challenge you to pray about it.  Ask God for His vision for your marriage.  Ask Him to change your heart and give you a heart for your husband and for His will in your life.  He is faithful.  Seek Him and you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).






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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cutest Puppy Ever

This video is too cute not to share!  If you are receiving this via email, click on the title of the post (Cutest Puppy Ever) to go to my blog to see the video.


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