You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done.
This morning as I was watching the coverage of the Connecticut shooting, (Good Morning America), there was a reminder to not let this tragedy be what we remember but let the children lives be remembered.
With that they challenged us to a random act of kindness in remembrance of a child whose life was taken too soon.
So far the response has been amazing.
Things from a donation of Christmas trees, to strangers paying off layaway's All this in remembrance of the victims.
I wanted to give an update on our bible study on Not a fan. I have to tell you this book really asks hard questions. Questions we probably don't like to be asked if we are honest with ourselves. Sometimes it's good to be asked hard questions because it gives us the opportunity to improve ourselves. This week the chapter revolved around the Holy Spirit. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up I didn't really hear that much about the Holy Spirit. It was more of a mystery. But while we may not have a huge understanding of what it entails, Jesus does tell us that when he is gone he is sending one greater than himself that we can do even better things than he did. That is hard to imagine for me, that while the disciples had Jesus here on earth with him, he said with the power of the Holy Spirit we could do even greater things than he. Hello???? I don't know about you but some days I have a difficult time doing the simplest of things, to think that I have the power to do miracles seems totally surreal. But that is exactly what the bible tells us, that if we believe, and call on the Holy Spirit (with a sincere heart), we cannot imagine the power that we have. I don't think we have a clue of what power we have as followers of Christ. The question is do we believe it? Really? If we do believe it, then do the actions of our lives reflect it?
Where has the time gone? I can't believe it is already December 5th. With all the hustle and bustle time has slipped away from me. I have some pictures to share from our annual Thanksgiving trip, and I will as soon as I set down and put them on the computer. I read this today. What a great story of God's grace, and promises is we would just trust him with everything.
Since we have started our Bible study on not a fan, we have really had to look inside ourselves to see where God stands in our lives. This past week was particularly difficult. Not really difficult because I didn't get it, but difficult because I'm not sure what my answers mean. I guess I didn't get it. Anyway, since I wasn't sure exactly what my answers say about me, I want to throw the questions that I found the most challenging out to you. Ready?
1. What disappoints you or frustrates you the most? 2. What is it that really gets you excited? OK, I am going to tell you what my answers are because I honestly felt like my answers may not have been what the author was looking for when he asked them. Now what disappoints me was an easy question. Injustice. The whole life isn't fair thing. Why are some kids starving while others have too much. But I will say that I am becoming better with this one, because I think a lot of that is on us. We should open our eyes to the injustices and do something ourselves. So I am working on that one. For me it was the next question that made me seem selfish for lack of a better description. What gets me excited? I don't know if this is wrong but I get excited when I know I am getting together with friends or family. I love having people over, and just getting together. Our family use to have a girls game night once a month and I absolutely loved it. We have a lot of fun in my family! Anyway, when I thought about it I wondered what does that say about me? Am I putting my family before God? I don't think I am, but am I? While we discussed the questions, we were told that these are not to make us feel guilty, but to help us grow and I know that in my head, but I just wasn't sure what that said about me.
I guess if I am going to be honest with myself, and why not because God knows everything anyway, I would have to ask myself am I putting my relationships before God.
Do you still have trick-or-treaters? Most folks around here go to church functions to get their candy, but I have one loyal little guy who comes around every year. Lucky for him, I loaded up on lots of candy!
Drama! Whether it is with teenagers, toddlers, or grown adults, it is basically all the same. Sometimes people get their feelings hurt, and whether it was intentional or completely innocent it all hurts the same. And when it happens we have a choice to make. It is the time when we have to decide how we are going to react. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotions that are running high at the time of the situation, but as adults we have to step back and take a deep breath.
So how do you handle it?
Do you walk away, or do you confront them. Whatever you do try to do it in a loving way if possible and just tell them how you feel.
Guess what, kids and adults often deal with the exact same thing. There will always be someone who whispers behind your back, or someone who calls you names, someone who doesn't want you to succeed.
If I could teach my kids anything, it would be to realize their worth. Not how this world values them but God. If we could just let them know how much God loves them, maybe the injustices of this world won't seem so big.
No, not the holiday. More the state of mind, being Thankful. This morning I was reading my devotional and it was telling the story of how the serpent tempted Eve by giving her a sense of counterfeit joy. As I was reading I thought of all the times Satan plants negative thoughts in my head and how easy it is to be deceived into thinking he's right. Counterfeit joy has nothing on real joy, it seems good for a minute but then it usually hurts someone else. I have fallen for his lies more times than I care to admit, and the good feeling doesn't last like real joy. But he can really make it look good. It can be especially easy when life gets hectic and things seem to be falling apart, God wants more than that for us, he wants us to have a peace and joy that passes all understanding.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
I was watching an interview with Ann Voskamp the other day and she was talking about Joy and being Thankful. Having a heart of gratitude. If we can see all that God has given us and be thankful for what we have, we can have amazing joy.
This weekend I have decided to make a list and get some things done that I have been putting off. First, I am getting my Halloween decorations out.
I am a huge Halloween fan. Next I am going to finish my cabinet makeover. I still need to get a few more things to complete it so I am going to at least get what I need. This weekend I am going to sit on my patio and snuggle with Mr. Wonderful. Or maybe make s'mores.
We have finally begun our Bible study again. I have missed it so much. Anyway, this week we started a focus on five major characters in the old testament. This week we started with Adam, let's face it he was first, right? We discussed Adams relationship with God, I mean he had everything he could possibly want right, he lived in paradise, was given a wife, basically, all his needs were met. Then the serpent comes along and temps Eve, and she falls for it. She wanted more. Did you get that? She wanted more. So she decided to try the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil. Then what does she do? She runs straight to Adam and gets him to do it. And he does it too, knowing he shouldn't, he still does. Now, these people have the kind of relationship with God that we can only imagine, he actually came down to talk to them. Can you imagine that? So, even though God already knows what has happened he wants to hear if from them. But they hide, thinking he won't know where they are or what they've done. How silly, he knows it all. So when they finally, admit what they had done, after blaming it on everyone they could, God disciplines them. Now, remember he told them not to eat from the tree or they would surely die, but he didn't kill them, he showed them mercy. God is good, even when we don't deserve it. Instead he gives them consequences for their actions (curses is what the bible call them). First the serpent, he is condemned to crawl on his belly and eat dust all his life. And the woman and all her descendants will be your enemy. They will crush your head, and you will strike their heel. To Eve, she will have much pain in childbirth, yet she will greatly desire her husband, and he will rule over her. And last but certainly not least Adam. He will put a curse on the ground, so that he will toil hard for his food, the ground will produce thorns and weeds and you will sweat and work hard. I would like to say that the more I read it, the more I love the old testament. The stories point us to Jesus. There is nothing that we face today, that isn't in the old testament. Betrayal, adultery, prostitution, just to name a few, and on top of all of that, God uses everyday people to lead them back to him. Also, the more I learn the more I see how the old and the new are so intertwined. For example;
We know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain, like a woman ready to give birth. Not only the world, but we also have been waiting with pain inside us.
A new testament example of how Eve's fall to sin still points us to Jesus. Our suffering now, are nothing compared to the glory he has waiting for us.
I can't believe it has been so long since my last post, so I just thought I would let you know what I've been up to. First, this past weekend I started another paint project, still not finished so you'll have to wait for that one. Also, the basement is getting a serious cleaning out, already made one trip to Goodwill and have some things I am taking to Hospice also. Since I sold all of my frame equipment I have been trying to sort through all of the prints that I have left and decide if I am going to use them or scrap them. I love that Fall is here, it hasn't turned completely cool yet but it's getting closer.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, everything seems so crisp and new.
Life seems to be getting busier instead of slowing down, Baby Girl is a senior this year, so while I am enjoying her last year in high school, I am busy, busy, busy with stuff seniors do. And, going broke in the process. So, I think I will just slow down, and take the time to enjoy what is.
Yesterday was Grandparent's Day. Is it me or do we have a day set aside for just about everybody you can think of? At our church when we have a special day like yesterday, our gift of choice is candy. All the older people are given candy bars and we say a few words about why we are grateful for them. While the kids were handing out the candy bars I was remembering about my own Grandparents. One of the things that sticks about about my Grandparents is that every Sunday was set aside to visit them. We would eat lunch at my mom's parents, aka Grandma and Paw Paw L. Then we went to my dad's moms house, Grandma P. I would like to say that NO ONE can make a cheese biscuit like my Grandma P, or stewed potatoes. Best you have ever put in your mouth. My other Grandparents had a dog, Suzie, and Paw Paw would feed her ice cream. Who can resist a dog eating ice cream? Their house was one of those houses where all the cousins met and we could take off and roam the neighborhood. I grew up in the country so neighborhoods were a huge deal to me.
I remember staying with my Grandmother P while my mom worked occasionally, and she would rock me to sleep after a bible story and singing hymns. I can honestly say I never heard her say one ugly thing. No bad words, nothing mean about anyone, nothing. Today, my kids think my mom makes better green beans than anyone they know. Maybe its just some sort of spell that Grandparents have over their grandchildren, probably because they can send them home when they start acting up. No matter what, Grandparents are special. If you still have them, then go see them and spend some time with them. If you don't then tell your kids what you loved about your grandparents, because as kids grow up sometimes they don't see the grandparents as often as they would like. So I hope you remembered and celebrated grandparents day in some way, whether it was with a candy bar or a phone call, or a meal. Family matters.
This past weekend we decided to go to the river one more time, before it starts getting cooler.
We had a fantastic day on the water, just look at how smooth the water was.
Slick as a baby's butt!!
Not bad for catching fish either.
We caught 4 over the course of the day, of course these are just for the fun of catching them, then you throw them back. But what fun they are to catch. The next day brought rain, but it didn't matter, what we couldn't do on the boat we made up for at the house. Played games, drank wine, did some swinging, watched some movies, enjoyed our friends. I am going to miss summer.
I am trying really hard to get my basement area organized. I have managed to put cabinets on my side (don't you love that we have the basement split into his and hers), and I am in the process of cleaning out the stuff that I don't use anymore. I hate to admit it but because of blogging it is so much harder for me to get rid of stuff. I see something that has been lying there for years and think no, no I can't get rid of that because as soon as I do, I will see something on pinterest made with that exact same thing. Is it just me? Do you do that? Anyway, while sifting through my treasures, I decided to be brave and discard the stuff that I have no plans for. For example, I have some bathroom fixtures from our board and batten project, that I was holding onto in case I needed it. Then there is the wooden shelf that I saved that has bows on it. It use to hang in Baby girls room when she was teeny tiny. I have more wine bottles than you can possibly imagine. No kidding!! First I was going to do a bottle tree, then I started coming up with other things to do so now I have more bottles than a winery. (Well, not quite, but I have a lot.) So, I decided that I would just be a big girl and sort through all that stuff and take it to Goodwill. How long is too long to hang onto shelves? books? high school annuals? my kids toys? Am I the only one who is a closet hoarder?
OK, I want to start off this story by saying I have had people tell me that insurance companies don't really help you out anymore when it comes to accident claims, but I honestly just thought that those people had crappy insurance. I was wrong. I would also like to say that I have filed claims before and not had any problems at all. Frankly all I had to do was call them, tell them there was an accident and they did the rest. They looked at the car, which was then either fixed or trashed. The settlement was fairly quick. No one stalling. Not quite like that now. One of our kids was in a multiple car accident, and we can't seem to get anywhere with our insurance company. Tell me, when you are my insurance company, shouldn't you be looking out for me? What has changed so much that you can't even guide us in the right direction? Mr. Wonderful has tried to call someone for the past week and she won't return his calls, you know what else, she wanted a copy of the police report which he sent her and she won't open it. Meanwhile we are one car down in a household where we all need cars. Not an ideal situation. So today we try again, to see if we can communicate with ANYONE at the insurance company. Really? What happened to the customer is always right?