Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You Are Where You Are

Lord, help me to be thankful in all that I have, all that I am, and all that I do. Amen

When was the last time you took a good look at your life? Or even yourself? This Thanksgiving I am sure that there will be plenty of extremes on both ends of the spectrum. There are going to be those that are thankful for what they have and that Mom and/or Dad still have a job or have a roof over their heads or that they have each other if nothing else. Then there will be those that moan and whine and lament over the fact that they don't have anything or don't have the newest car or the newest video game.

This Thanksgiving take a look at yourself in the mirror. I want you to examine your life inside and out. The physical, mental, emotional, your career, your home life, your demeanor. Throw it all out on the table and take a good long look. Now don't get down on yourself. I want you to pick out all the good stuff and say "Thank you" to God for having the good stuff to go with the bad. I know, I know. Some of you may be looking at the pieces laid out on the table (figuratively) and thinking "But there's nothing good there. My life is in the toilet."

Here's some things to be thankful for (I'm sure you can relate to at least one):

-You're kids are in good health.
-You are in good health.
-a roof over your head
-food to eat-even if it is beans and rice
-the fact your spouse hasn't left you even though your marriage is in the toilet right now
-if your spouse was abusive and they HAVE left
-you and/or your spouse has a job
-you have clothes to wear
-you have a great marriage even though you're broke
-your kids love you no matter what

Quit your whining and your moaning. Say a heartfelt prayer to your creator and teach those you love about a truly thankful heart.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Did You Realize?

"I want a brand new video game system for Christmas." Little Turtle said to his mother.
Mother Turtle smiled. She had already bought Little Turtle a new bicycle. Mother Turtle knew that if she bought him video games then he would always stay inside and never learn the wonders of the outside world. Mother had found a bicycle during the Summer that was perfect for her Little Turtle. Now she had to figure out how she was going to give Little Turtle his present without him being disappointed?

The next day, Mother Turtle, left a picture of the bicycle laying on the kitchen table. She watched as Little Turtle picked it up, studied it, and put it back on the table. Quietly, he went outside to play.

Another day passed, a few of Little Turtle's friends rode their bikes into the driveway. As they left, Mother Turtle said, "Those are really neat bikes, too bad you didn't get one last year."

"Yea." Little Turtle said quietly.

Mother Turtle left the picture of the bicycle on the table day after day. Little Turtle looked at it day after day. She spent the next few weeks dropping hints about how great it would be if HE had a bike.

Christmas morning came and Little Turtle crept down the stairs to see the shiny red bicycle sitting in front of the tree.

"Momma, momma! Look what I got for Christmas! A bicycle, just like I always wanted!"

Mother Turtle smiled broadly. She knew this was the best present for him and now he knew it too.

Moral of the story: This is the way God is with us. We ask him for what we want, but He knows what we need. So He places a seed in our hearts and gives us signs to help us realize what we need is so much better than what we want.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Multiplying Your Time

"For every time there is a season . . ."

Do you start your day off with a bang? Everything starts out great and then you get distracted and everything falls apart. Or perhaps you hit the snooze button 'just one more time'. You wake up at the last possible minute, throw on the wrinkled clothes or whatever smells clean, yell at the kids to get out of bed, throw a pop tart at them, scream at the 4 year old because she can't find her shoes, and then really lose it when he/she starts crying because you yelled at them.

I've had days that run along smoothly as long as I'm doing what needs to be done. The minute I check the email for more than five minutes or try to check the comments on my blogs (even thought I'm not suppose to do that until the baby's nap time) everything falls to pieces. I run out of time to fix dinner without the children screaming. I don't get all of the laundry done for the day before midnight. Bedtime gets pushed back later and later to get things accomplished.

In contrast, when I stay on task, the list gets done. I may only have one hour and have literally 25 things to accomplish. If I stay the course moving from one project to another then it will get done. I also must remind myself that if I keep my patience when something or someone interrupts my flow then God will 'extend' my time. If I remain peaceful and calm with my children and take the 10 min. with the baby when he gets up from his nap then God will 'extend' my time.

So make out your to-do list and do it. Don't get distracted by the computer or a phone call. Devote your attention to the list and to your children without losing your temper and looking at the clock constantly. God will reward you with more time than you knew you had.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Put It In His Hands

I've been fighting this for so long, I'm not sure it's real. I've been fighting the housewife/homemaker thing. Don't ask why. It's a long, sordid story that just shows that I still have issues with my parents. But two weekends ago my husband threatened to leave if I didn't do something with our pigsty of a house. I guess that was my wake up call. See, he said he'd take the kids with him.

So after many tears and prayers I bit the bullet and I have been plowing through the clutter and the dirt. It's still not great but it is a drastic improvement. And my husband even noticed. He helped clean up the kitchen one night last weekend and then tonight he told me that the house looked nice.

I've even been cooking more and spending more time with my kids. Which I might add that my kids have been helping out more now that they see mom doing more. The one thing that I'm having to struggle to keep up with is my writing, but I am pressing on.

So I will put it in HIS hands. Each day I will start anew and put it in HIS hands. It is no longer my burden. I will do what is required of me and I pray Lord that you will give me enough hours in the day to accomplish those tasks. In Jesus name, Amen

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reaching Out

I have worked harder the past few days then I have in a while. I finally got the message, "Put up or shut up" I know this sounds crazy on a spiritual blog, but it's the truth. I have been whining about my situation in my personal and professional life for a few years. However, I have been going in circles this whole time. I knew the answer to my problem. It came to me after many a prayer. Change my thinking, change my attitude, but most of all change my actions. No matter how much my thinking changed, nothing else changed without my action.

I have made out many lists with my goals and my plan as to how to reach that goal. I have prayed, meditated, cried, pleaded, screamed, and agonized over how to improve my life, how to love my kids more, how to get my husband to love me like he used to, how to get closer to God. The one thing that I have put off, until now, is to TAKE ACTION. All of the good thoughts in the world won't help without putting in the effort to make it happen.

Four days and counting. My laundry is slowly catching up. My dining room is clean and we can use the table. My kitchen is a work in progress. My living room is clean as are the kids rooms. My bedroom is also a work in progress. Today I will tackle the remaining two rooms and my van. Clutter breeds chaos and stress and (in my case) anger. No more. It takes 21 days to make a habit. So I'm making new habits everyday.

Praise God that He has never left me. He has never given up on me. Even when I gave up on myself, even as I have hated myself. God never gave up. He was there to hold me and comfort me and to lead me through the darkness. He has been the one to prod me into action through one thing or another. I get it now. I understand that I have deep responsibilities to my children, my husband, to myself and to Him. He won't give me more then I can handle so I need to choke it up and "handle" it. And to quote someone else "I just wish He didn't trust me so much"

So if you're stuck on the treadmill and feel destined to repeat yourself just remember that the definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results' I have been stuck in insanity for WAY too long. I hope that my post will help you out of yours.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sincere Prayer

I am sure that a lot of you were praying yesterday and last night, as I was. When McCain gave his concession speech I was close to tears.

I asked God how this could happen? How could our great nation be so blind? Then I felt at peace. The words I heard in my heart were: Now is not the time. This happened so that you will all wake up and pay attention and take action on how your government is run. You will make an effort to find out what legislation is trying to be passed and take action on it. During the next election you will pound the pavement and let others know where the candidates stand on the issues. You will WORK.

This is what has given me peace about the election. (Plus it is sort of cool to have an African -American elected president during my lifetime.)

Tomorrow I will be back to life as usual, but today I just had to let you know that God is there and when you pray sincerely and openly he answers willingly and honesty.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote

Today is the day. The one day that will change the next four (or more) years of your life. It is EXTREMELY important that you get out there and vote. Be prepared for long lines. Be prepared to stay for hours. Don't think, well I've got other things to do. HELLO! This will be a turning point in our country and YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!

Dress in layers so that if it gets hot or cold you can be comfortable in line. Bring drinks, snacks, a bagged lunch or dinner. (Don't drink too much you don't want to have to go to the bathroom.) Bring a book, a gameboy, an ipod, just something to keep you from getting bored. If you have kids take them along (I did). Whip out the strollers, toys, books, activities, snacks, sippy cups, you name it. Show them the importance of voting.

Make your voice count and take the time/make the time to cast your vote. While your at it , say a prayer for our country in this time of uncertainty. It is an honor to live in the United States and we should all remember that we have a voice because of the country we live in. So stop arguing amongst each other and just VOTE! And tomorrow, no matter who wins, we need to be thankful for this great country and instead of letting the winner divide us, we need to unite and make the best of things.