Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bible/Book Study - Pocket Book Punches - Courage

From the book - "The Jesus-Hearted Woman" by Jodi Detrick

Definition of Courage = the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery - Idiom (expression): to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism

On page 163 the author uses Gideon as an example of a "scaredy-cat" of the bible. She points out that Gideon was initially addressed by the angel as a "mighty man of valor"

My thoughts:
*God sees us and calls us by what we can be --- He knows the "Real" us even if we cannot see or believe it ourselves.

Read the story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6
*Gideon is hiding from the Midianites in a wine press threshing wheat (wheat threshing is usually done out in the open where the wind can be of assistance)
*The angel calls him mighty
*The Lord tells him to go in the strength he has - the Lord tells him he is strong
*The Lord sends him
*Gideon responds with - "But Lord"
*Gideon calls himself weak and the least

What if we had the courage to see ourselves as God sees us?
*not with our own earthly eyes (weakest/least)

What if instead of saying "But Lord" we had the courage to jump/leap in faith WITHOUT QUESTION?
*I don't know about you but I do not do much without questions - as an over analyzer I typically ask MANY questions

**Faith and Fear have the same definition - they both mean "Believing that what you cannot see will come to fruition"

On page 163-164 the author writes in a quote that was said by Christopher Robin to Pooh - " you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think". It just so happens that my best friend (my very own Christopher Robin!) sent me this quote a few days prior to my reading this chapter.

It made me think:
What if we had the courage to surround ourselves with others who see great things in us and let go of the ones who tear us down.
*In our bible study group a few ladies pointed out that sometimes we are surrounded by people and we have no choice (co-workers/family). So I no longer think that it is realistic to only be surrounded by only people who see great in us but what if we found our very own Christopher Robin? What if we prayed and asked God to send us our very own Christopher Robin, someone who sees the great in us and pushes us toward that greatness.

On page 170 the author says, "Sometimes the wars we're called to win (perhaps over things like gossip, dishonesty, anger, overspending, or pride) are as much about someone else as they are about us. If we don't deal with these "snakes" in our paths, those behind us will feel the fangs and experience the pangs of their soul-corrupting poison."
*Wow - think about that - I think about this is relation to our children (my futuristic children)
*Courage/War can be as much about someone else as it is about us
          *Our children, those whom we minister to, those who are watching us, etc.

Courage = the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery - Idiom (expression): to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism

What do you need courage to face today?

"You must always remember - you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~Christopher Robin to Pooh

To my very own Christopher Robin (you know who you are) - I love you so much. Thank you for pushing me forward, supporting me, encouraging me, crying with me, sharpening me, standing by me, and for seeing the great in me even when I cannot! I am thankful EVERYDAY that God shares you with me. I love you friend!

Lord Thank You for your Word and the example of Gideon. Thank you for  speaking this learning to Jodi and to me and for allowing me to share it. I pray for courage that is birthed from Your Spirit and Your Word in my life! I love you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, March 17, 2014


My sweet hubby and I are such a little old couple inside. We have decided that we would like to be regulars at this wonderful little restaurant just down the road from our house called the Mason Jar. So we have created "Mason Jar Mondays".

This little restaurant is one of the cutest, friendliest and yummiest little places ever. They serve their drinks out of blue tinted mason jars and they have homemade root beer and different flavors of lemonade.

I also have to say that the food is...Wonderful!!

Hubby and I have not tried anything that we haven't liked and have tried only one thing that we would likely not order again but we are glad that  we tried it anyway.  They serve good home cookin. Great appetizers and great entrees!

We sit in the same booth if possible and if not possible we sit on the same side of the room! How fun is that!

We have been slowly introducing ourselves to the waitresses who are all sweet country high school students.  We are enjoying meeting them!!

We love our new little town and are really excited to see what our future holds here as we plant roots and become 'regulars'!

I love that we are such a little old couple already! It makes my heart happy!

Hubs and I had our Mason Jar Monday tonight and laughed almost all the way through dinner and then we headed off to Sams to get our headlights cleaned and we laughed our way through the store and the whole time we were waiting for our car to be finished!  I LOVE THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP IS BUILT ON LAUGHTER! It just makes life better!!

Well that is all for tonight! Night Night world, I am going to laugh some more with my love!

Lord, thank you for this sweet husband of mine, thank you for bringing the one that would add so much laughter and love to my life! You knew exactly what I needed to balance me! Thank you for loving me so much that you plan such amazing gifts! Thank you for sharing this man with me! Thank you for this sweet little town that you have placed us in, help us to be a blessing to this community and help us to know exactly where you want us to put down our roots here! We love you and trust you and we will continue to follow you! In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Precious Mundane

Oh the precious mundane...

We had the opportunity this weekend to go to my in-laws for to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. 

It was a very nice weekend just doing the mundane. We just hung out and ate dinner and played with kids on Friday night and then on Saturday we did yard work and helped dig a pond. It was quite refreshing as these are the simple and mundane moments that we have been missing and what we are anxious to get back to with all of our families.

We had a really laid back and fun time just laughing about whatever and digging and cleaning the yard and pool. 

We then decide to go out to eat before we headed back home, so went out to the bay to have seafood where I had crawfish for the first time and enjoyed it but the rest of our food was not that great but it was really nice to be on the bay and get to look at the window and see the water. 

I just LOVE the water, the bay, lake, ocean!! Love it!

It was just the laid back nice weekend that we needed and we look so forward to more of those moments with all of our families and getting to reconnect on that level. 

So today I am thankful for the precious mundane moments that I so crave with our families.

Here's to a better week this week than last week!

Lord I thank You for your faithfulness and love. I give you this week ahead and ask that it be a good week full of fun and lots of energy. In Jesus name. Amen

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bible/Book Study - The Cringe Factor - Predetermined Choices

At the request of my BEST FRIEND I am going to post the bible/book study teaching that I share with the women of my church. This was my first time leading a bible/book study and I am thankful that God led me!!  I hope you enjoy!

This is my learning from the book "The Jesus-Hearted Woman" by Jodi Detrick - Chapter Five "The Cringe Factor"

Predetermined Choices:

God led me to thinking specifically in terms of Hurts which I believe to be the biggest struggle in life and especially in church.

*My Bad Hurts (pg.123) are hurts that come from our own making.
*Their Bad Hurts (pg. 123) things that others have done to us.
*Too Bad Hurts (pg. 123) things that just do not go our way.

What do we do with our about these hurts?
*We get to decide how we allow hurts/disappointments to affect us.
Predetermined Choices"
*We get to choose - Let's choose now to:
       *Not to give up 
       *Not to wall up (if we wall up we wall ourselves in and not even God can reach us)
              *we cage ourselves in and not even God can reach us
              *We cannot be fully effective in ministry and loving people if we put up walls to "protect"                ourselves
       *Not to shut down
*We must never let bitterness Begin - once it starts the journey back in long and difficult

It is our choice

Joseph's Example (Genesis 37 and 39-45)
*Joseph's My Bad - His youthful pride in sharing his dream of his brothers bowing down to him caused friction with his brothers which led to him being sold as a slave
*Joseph's Their Bad - Potiphar's Wife wanted to sleep with him and he fled from her and it still landed him in jail
*Joseph's Too Bad - He was forgotten by the cupbearer which lead to a longer imprisonment (2 full years)

If anyone had reason to give up, wall up or shut down it was Joseph. 

However, Joseph's positive response to the situations in his life transformed each set back into a step forward.

Joseph did NOT give up, wall up or shut down, he glorified God and did not allow bitterness.

I think we can learn so much from Joseph and how he made the best of each situation in his life and chose to not give up, wall up, shut down or even allow bitterness to begin in his life. Can you imagine if he had allowed bitterness how incredibly hard it would have been to stop it from situation to situation. Yikes!

I just love Joseph! He is so inspiring!!

I am choosing to not give up, wall up, shut down or even let bitterness begin - with God's help of course. 

Hurts WILL come because we are loving people and people are imperfect.

I do not want to allow hurts to affect the way that I love God's people or the way I allow people to love me. Giving up, shutting down, walls and bitterness all affect those things.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Hard Things

In every transition there are hard things...
Quite honestly in this transition I expected more hard things than we have received and I know that is all due to our Faithful God who goes before us to prepare the way.

There are so many hardships that we have not had to experience this time around and for that I am so very thankful...because there have been other hard things to face.

This has been my hardest battle both of the times that I have moved to new places. I miss the connections that I had. The strong trusting connections with our kids, youth, parents and friends.
Why do I struggle with this so much? Because I am SO NOT A PATIENT PERSON! I know that true deep connections take time to build but it is so hard to wait for that to happen. I miss the trusting hugs and talks with the kids and the easy and comfortable moments of teaching with the youth and the wordless conversations with friends.

Even my connections with family are different because we have been away from them for almost 4 years. It is so hard to loose those connections and to have to be patient while they are being rebuilt! So hard and very heart breaking for me.

However, how else would I get to work on my patience...Right!

New Jobs/New Routine/New Balance...
This has been my second hardest battle. Learning how to have an almost full-time job and balance ministry. It is so hard to not have the amount of time that I want to pour into our ministry and the people we want to minister to. Time disappears so fast!! Even though I do not work until 5:00pm everyday the short amount of time between getting off work and picking up my hubby from work is usually filled with a shower (which is a necessity after cleaning houses all day) or breathing or eating. It really is so crazy how quickly time disappears!

Oh Oh Oh...but even in the hard boy is my God ever faithful. He has just been so incredible faithful each day and each week and each situation to provide exactly what we need!

I cannot believe that we get to live out our calling in a wonderful community with a wonderful church and near our families!! We get to keep in touch with so many of the ones we love and miss and we get to build new relationships and we are believing that we will not have to leave these!! We get to put down roots and see where God takes us here! We get to serve a loving and faithful and caring God who goes before us and stand beside us and even covers our backs! Love love love my God! Love love love serving Him and loving His people!