Thursday, July 31, 2008
I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. (Galatians 3:1-5 NLT)
Are you a person who follows all the rules easily? Were you the child that if your parents just said, "we don’t play in the canal because it’s dangerous," you took them at their word and stayed clear of the canal? Or are you the adult who has a hard time going 35 mph on the way to the grocery store so you bump it up to 40mph?
I am in a season of my relationship with God where I am learning and asking a bunch of questions about rules. My eyes and ears have been on a heightened alert to the rules around me.
I have recently been thinking about the rules we have in our home. This is what is on our fridge.
I want to be more focused on my relationship with my boys than the rules my boys need to follow. I want to build a relationship with them, so that out of love, obedience will come.
What about when we are living life with people; are we more focused on the fact that they are not following the rules? Or are we loving them and leaving the obedience thing up to their Creator? Are our churches more focused on keeping things clean, neat and in order? Or do we have places people can come and be loved on?
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Galatians 2:20-21
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We have many reasons to celebrate here at our house this week. Steve (my better half) successfully passed with flying colors his check ride on Saturday and is now an official Private Pilot. Way to go Babe!
Our oldest is turning four this Saturday, and he is anxiously awaiting his big boy bike. Don’t tell him, but mommy and daddy are anxiously waiting to give it to him. I am so excited to see his face! Happy Birthday Ty!
My own personal reason to celebrate is that I have been so blessed by so many women here in blog land. I have read and visited SO many incredible blogs. There are a ton of truly amazing women who are living their lives on purpose. And you know me…I am all about being on purpose! So I am inviting you to visit their websites today and spread this party around. We need to be celebrating life together. We need to be sharing each other’s special moments. We also need to be lifting each other up.
Okay so here it is the start of a "Blog Party". I am inviting you to visit these incredible blogs, and to pass them on to your blog friends and just keep this invite going. We are going to celebrate life with each other. Yeah!
Nicki at http://threegirlygirlz.blogspot.com/ She is being an obedient daughter and letting God use her to tell other women that they are beautiful. Beautiful because God created them! Please visit her and pray for her Bible Study.
Samantha at http://www.thelistenerspost.blogspot.com/ She is an awesome writer who will always put a smile on your face and usually have you laughing. Please go visit her site and walk away with a smile!
Jami at http://livelaughlove5.blogspot.com/ She is not only my "soul mate" because she is also a lover of shoes, she is a real woman who lets you into to her real life! She is sharing the journey of her second adoption with us, please visit her and pray for the adoption process.
Mylah at http://www.joytoknow.com/ I had the awesome privelege of having lunch with her after the She Speaks conference in the Charolette airport and she truly is a Joy to Know (just like the title of her blog). Please go visit her and love on her!
Susan at http://scrunnermom.blogspot.com/ She is a runner and she finds God while running, does life get any better than that? Go visit her and check out her new blog design!
Pam at http://pinkshoelady.blogspot.com/ Seriously did you think I could not include a blog with the word "shoe" in the title. Pam is a beautiful definition of a woman so in love with God. Go checkout her blog and pass her on to all your friends.
May you be blessed by celebrating life with each other!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Have you ever felt so tired, worn out, disappointed that you just wanted to be done? Are you trying to do it all on your own?
You see there is a huge difference in effectiveness when Jesus is in the boat.
Is there something in your life that God is asking you to do? Are telling Him, "but I tried, I can’t, I am way too tired!"
May we acknowledge that we can’t save ourselves and that we need help. May we know that Jesus is the one that makes the difference and be willing to leave it all behind and pusue Him.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
So anyway Steve and I climb in, and just so you know I am branded genetically with poor coordination skills. Steve and I lay down together, now the width of the hammock is both of our bodies lying side to side with no "extra" room. We are laying there in a very engineered science, we are balanced, and all our weight is distributed evenly on the nylon covering and proportioned to the very edges of the hammock. (Yes my husband is an engineer, you were dying to ask weren’t you?!) Well at the very moment that we both took a deep breath and were enjoying our peace and relaxation, our two little guys, who were busy across the lawn riding the pretty purple scooter and pink princess bike provided by our friends, have turned on their "radar". They receive a message via their radar that says…" mom and dad are alone spending quality quiet time together", this is interpreted in their little heads as…"quick me must go jump on the hammock!" So from across the lawn they are running at Olympic speeds. So within seconds we are testing the weight capacity of the hammock and recalculating our weight distribution equations.
So here we are the Happy Hammock Family.
As we are relaxing, my youngest son’s favorite announcement is made, "dessert is ready". My youngest starts jumping up and down on daddy, "lets go get ‘sert daddy" So daddy and he dismount from the hammock in style with a very serious mission.
So now Tyler, my oldest, takes daddies spot right next to me. So we are lying their relaxing and giggling together. I have not changed my location I am still clinging to my edge, you know I didn’t recalculate anything, my husband left and that was his job. So needless to say, my son has most of the hammock. Well Tyler decides in a matter of seconds without making any kind of announcement or hint that he is going inside to get dessert. Well lets just say the next few seconds are all a matter of opinion, to the audience watching, they were hilarious, here is this woman over the age of thirty who has just flipped out of the hammock, which presents her backside into the air, legs and arms flaring, and she is screaming. And in my opinion lets just say I was humbled and my hip was hurting.
So yes everyone at the bbq, even those who were inside getting "dessert" enjoyed my not so graceful dismount from the hammock. You see I was completely dependent on my 40lb son who fled quickly for brownies and ice cream!
My husband’s response, "did you not adjust your position when Tyler got out of the hammock?"
Engineers always think so matter of factly…Trust me!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Did you find joy?
Did you bring joy to anyone?
So to dig deeper; What is joy? What does it look like?
I believe Jesus brought joy before He was ever born. He brought joy in the anticipation of the people awaiting their Messiah. Once here I know He brought joy to His mommy and daddy the minute He was born. He brought joy to those He healed. He definitely brought joy to His Father through His obedience and commitment on the cross. I believe Jesus felt joy when He was obedient on the cross, because He understood that He was making a relationship possible.
Joy is found when you discover God, when you grow in relationship with Him.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Can you relate? Okay so maybe you haven’t been bleeding non-stop for 12 years. But are you in a lot of pain, pain from an illness the doctors cannot give you a diagnosis for? Or maybe a choice you made in the past has you living with a diagnosis and society labels you as an outcast. Are you caught in an addiction cycle that has left you feeling stuck? Are you living with the guilt from a childhood pain that keeps you from experiencing joy? Do you have more month than you do money? Do you have questions like; why did I get cancer? Why have I had one, two, many miscarriages? Why can’t I get pregnant? Why am I married to someone who is abusive? Why am I not married? Why did I lose my parents? Why don’t I have a job? How come my child is using drugs and has ran away from home?
You see whatever the pain, suffering or issue we are dealing with the solution is the same. We need to reach out and touch Him. We need to have faith that He knows what He is doing. This woman didn’t ask Jesus one single question. And believe me I think she had them. Why have I suffered for 12 years? Why have I been a social outcast? Why am I so lonely? Where were you? She took action and touched His robe. Her faith took action.
God is in control and because of this, He has decided that He wants our relationship to be based on faith. He will not answer all of our questions, as He wants us to have faith. You see this is the whole design of the relationship, He is always there waiting for us to make the choice to be in relationship with Him.
Our faith takes action! And the more we use faith, the more it grows.
So wherever we find ourselves today, in pain, lonely, or desperate may we reach out and touch Him and hear Him say;
"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34 emphasis mine)
Friday, July 18, 2008
So who am I waving the pom-poms for? My awesome husband who is a check ride away from being a pilot! Woo-hoo!
Current stats: 40.2 hours of flight time and 101 landings
My husband has had a dream in his heart that was planted there from a very early age by His Creator, to fly airplanes. My husband was wired or put together just like every man should be (good job on this one God!) and that he dreams big and always has an adventure in his heart. I had the privilege of joining in his life when we married knowing that becoming a pilot was on his radar screen. For many years we talked about how to make it come to be. We talked about the time needed, the resources such as money, an instructor, an airplane.
I watched him over the years and I admired him so much for dreaming and tuning into the passion and desire of his heart.
It seemed that this passion and desire would stay a little longer inside his heart. Never once did he complain, whine, or show any sign of disappointment in having to wait.
Out of my husband’s obedience and waiting for God’s timing, he recently has been blessed with the awesome gift of a pilot’s license. What was once a dream in his heart, is now a reality that he is living out.
I am so proud of his commitment and I respect him for his obedience and his patience.
And if there is such a thing as cheerleaders for pilot’s…
Go Babe! Fly like a bird!
I love you!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This question was way different than the other how come questions I usually receive from the backseat. How come the fire truck’s lights are on but the siren isn’t going? How come you can hear the airplane before you see it? How come you have to eat ice cream so fast, and how come it gives you a headache when you do? How come you drive different than daddy? I suppose this last question should be life changing!
So it’s last Friday morning and we are driving to daddy’s work to have lunch with him, and I am thinking, "how come daddy has lunch at 11:00am?" Nope not my little guy, he is sitting in his car seat very quiet, and all of a sudden as I pull up to a stop sign, he asks, "Mom how come we can’t see God’s power?" So I proceed to look left, right and left again and get ready to go and realize, it’s not clear yet, all in the same second I am thinking, "how come I have to answer this question, and that it couldn’t have come out at 11:04 when daddy is around to help?" You see because of my medical terminology background, I am SO prepared to answer all the other really difficult questions, "how come boys have penis’ and girls don’t?" I was so not prepared to answer this particular question in regards to the Big Guy’s power.
The answer I gave in that moment, "honey we get to see God’s power in the things He does through people in our world." Which at that particular moment in the car worked for him, but left me feeling like my life would never be the same.
You see, I had just witnessed the power of God through a little guy with a cowlick, in the backseat of the car.
May you see the power of God today!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Do you think that’s what has happened to marriage? Are marriages tired, numb and hurting?
Do we get tired of looking at our spouse? Do we base our reality on feelings? And does the silence of things not said scare you?
I know this will surprise some readers, but our society is not supporting your marriage. The world we live supports "disposable marriages". When you are tired of this spouse, move on, there is a newer and fresher model. When you no longer "feel" like loving this person, or maybe you have "fallen out of love" this cannot be okay, feeling numb is not okay. And when you move into a new season of your marriage, (children, empty nest, retirement, loss of parent, parent moves in) it might be too scary to handle.
The awesome thing is that society, (people) are not the creators of marriage, but God is! God designed a beautiful agreement that is to be entered in with a man, woman, and Himself.
I have agreed to see Steve through the eyes of Jesus. I have agreed to not get tired of looking at him. I have agreed to not base my marriage on feelings alone. I have agreed that in all things I will stand next to my best friend with our Savior and have faith.
I am writing today on marriage because I have girlfriends who need to be lifted up before their Creator, whose marriages need to be lifted up, and I feel very passionate about taking it to the cross with them!
Dear God may you remind us that marriage is a beautiful covenant that you designed and that you have the blueprints, and you want it to be beautiful! We love you- and it’s in Jesus’ sweet name we pray, Amen.
Friday, July 11, 2008
This where I need to be today; at the cross. Thank you so much for leaving your prayer requests with me. You are all beautiful daughters and your "real" requests have encouraged me. The list below represents requests we all have, please let me know if there are others that could be represented.
We give these to Jesus, because only He is big enough and strong enough to handle them:
- Our Marriages (communication, sex, needing time together,those celebrating anniversaries)
- Our Husbands (we need to respect them and honor them)
- Time (we need time Lord for you, please be REAL obvious with us about this as we sometimes can't see it)
- Exercise, controlling our eating, help us to understand our bodies are a temple, replace our negative self image with the beauty you see in us
- We need rest, help us to get the rest we need, remind us to go to bed earlier, and when we are sleeping make it restful and renewing
- We give to you are daily tasks as moms, help us to do everything for you!
- Bible study leaders who need you to speak through them
- Children who are having surgeries
- Girlfriends who are in all stages of the adoption process
- Family members who are lost in addiction
- Diagnosis which leads to anger, frustration, pain, heartache, embarrassment.
- Death and loss of people we love so much
- Finances (loss of job, bankruptcy, loss of home, overspending, debt)
Dear Jesus, we praise You for all things new and the blessings You bring and will continue to bring to us. We know that in ALL things You work for the good. What satan intended for bad You intend to bring glory to Yourself. Please show us just how big You are. We love You Lord!-Amen
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I want to pray for you today. So, if you feel comfortable leaving me a comment with your name, please do, or leave an anonymous comment. Only share your request if you want to. God knows, and I would just love the opportunity to talk to God today and lift up His beautiful daughters in prayer.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
So what am I doing and is it on purpose?
I woke up this morning to my husbands alarm, it is officially his alarm because he has to wake for work, but I would like to point out that I am usually the one who gets out of bed first. I rolled out of bed, dressed in my running clothes, put my rag on my head (for more description of my headpiece for running see Pride Aside below), high fived my husband who was still in bed and told him I was off and his reply, "be safe" stretched a little and was out the door running! I love to run, and yes I run on purpose, it’s time to be by myself with God. This morning I ran a shorter distance and so for that I substituted some hills, yes on purpose! When I came in I hydrated with some water, on purpose. It was my turn to take a shower, my husband and I have such excellent timing, he is usually done by the time I get back! So I purposely took a shower so that I would not stink the rest of my day.
Then came some of my most favorite time, my quiet time with God, Bible reading, and praying. I will pray that through the power and strength of God I can be Jesus to someone today. I learned after my boys were born that to get this time I needed to wake up a few hours before they did. This totally helps our day, I need to be ready to go (physically, mentally, and spiritually) by the time they wake up.
I had some time to check email, blogs and catch up with my online friends.
Then I heard one of my most favorite sounds, Tyler singing, he usually wakes up singing and talking. I love that fact that I get to greet them "Good Morning" everyday and be there to hug them and ask them, "how did you sleep?"
So we are up and starting our day. Tanner’s turn to pick breakfast today, cereal. I love having breakfast with my boys for two reasons, one I love to eat breakfast it is my most favorite meal of the day, and the boys are calm during this meal, all rested and peaceful, so it is the quieter meal of the day!
Today was Park Day, we brought some bread for the ducks, played on the slides and swings, ate a snack, climbed the tree, and Tanner found the mud. I purposely watched them bang these sticks they found on the metal of the toy set there at the park, they were giggling and laughing so hard. I love to watch them enjoy life. I had the opportunity to talk with some other moms at the park today.
It is naptime now, something else I feel very passionate about and always do on purpose, take a NAP.
The rest of the day could go like this:
After nap, greet the boys again with big hugs, and ask "how was your nap?", have a snack and wait for daddy to come home. We will welcome daddy home and tell him we missed him and that we love him. Daddy will play with the boys and I will cook dinner. We will go to a baseball game tonight and enjoy life together as a family. We will come home and get ready for bed, brush our teeth and put on our jammies. We will have prayer circle, (each person gets a turn to pray), mommy will read stories to Tanner, and daddy will read stories to Tyler (we trade each night), then daddy and mommy will have some quiet time together. I will tell my husband I love him!
I will read some more of God’s precious words to me before I got to bed, and I will tell Him I love Him.
As I lay my head on the pillow, I will pray that God got the glory for the day! And that the only purpose I had for the day was to love Him and love His people!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
He doesn’t see the outside tattered/stained clothes, the greasy hair in its ponytail. He doesn’t see with human eyes. He sees with the creators eyes and He sees your heart. He sees that you are longing to be loved and to feel wanted. He wants to dance with you! As He takes your hand and leads you, you start to feel your heartbeat slow, you feel a peace and calmness you hear only the music. You feel only the strength of His hands. You see only the acceptance in His face. He is dancing with you! He is leading and you are following Him. There is such grace in His steps. There is light in the room. You can breathe, you inhale more of this moment. You are dancing with your creator.
I hope you dance!
Monday, July 7, 2008
So I heard it at She Speaks a few weeks ago, Your home is your first area of ministry. I hear it again yesterday in Max Lucado’s book 3:16. Max is talking about the example of Jesus:
"As a young boy, Jesus already senses the call of God. But what does he do next? Recruit apostles and preach sermons and perform miracles? No, he goes home to his folks and learns the family business.
That is exactly what you should do. Want to bring focus to your life? Do what Jesus did. Go home, love your family, and take care of business. But, Max, I want to be a missionary. Your first mission field is under your roof. What makes you think they’ll believe you oversees if they don’t believe you across the hall?" (pg 144)
I am a woman who loves God down to the core. However I am not sure that my every action, word and deed is showing this to my family. In my sometimes loud and angry moments I am so not being gentle and kind. When I huff and puff about the toys not being picked up quickly enough, I am not being so patient. Do I bring the love of Jesus to our home? Is the joy of Jesus evident in our family?
So I want to do this! I want to love my family. I want to tell them daily that I love them, and I want to show them. I want to love them how Jesus loves me. When they fall I want to be there to help pick them up. When they are lonely I want to be their friend. When they are sad I want to bring joy. I want to keep a healthy balance of grace and discipline. When I make a mistake I want to admit it, say I am sorry and ask for forgiveness. I want to play with them, laugh with them, cook meals for them, clean their clothes, and keep our home clean. I want to do these things because they are ways I can show them I love them. Please know that I am so NOT able to do any of this, but I am able to let the Holy Spirit work in me to bring about this atmosphere. I need to be obedient to let Him work!
Dear Heavenly Father I step out in obedience and ask for Your power to fulfill this ministry You have called me to. Loving my family! It is in the name of your precious son, Jesus I ask, Amen.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Galatians 5: 1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I was thinking the other day, which if you know me you know that I do way too much of this! It’s actually OCD thinking, where I just can’t turn my brain off, I think about a situation and then think about it some more and then I over think it and then analyze it and then think about what I came up with after analyzing it. Get the point…its way too much thinking! So anyway, I was assessing (another word for thinking…creative!??!) if I am truly living my life as free person or if I am still stuck in the slave mentality. We are all born as slaves, slaves to sin. Until we are born again, we won’t experience true freedom. The freedom that only Jesus can bring to your life. So what does living like I am free look like? When people look at my life, can they see the difference?
We are a slave to whatever controls us (2 Peter 2:19). So what in my life is controlling me? What has a dominating influence over me? I came up with a few things that I feel have a tendency to make me feel like a slave and not the free person that God has intended me to be. My yoke of slavery looks like this: I think I have to be in complete control of just about everything; I have pride issues (now its hard not to want to backspace that!); I worry about money, and when I get stressed about something I tend to eat over the feelings of stress!
As I was driving in the car today, I heard God’s sweet and yet all-powerful voice reminding me, "Nichole I paid a very high price for your life and your freedom, don’t you think you can trust me? Nichole I want you to be free and live like you’re free. Living like you are free, means you will put all your trust and faith in me."
Definition of Freedom-the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, (dictionary.com)
If I am hauling around my yoke of slavery, how can I be living like I am free? How can I enjoy my relationship with God if I am stuck in my slave mentality?
When we cry out to God, He answers us by setting us free (Psalm 118:5).
When we are in running toward the center of God’s will we are living in freedom (Psalm 119:32).
May we release our yoke of slavery and live our lives in freedom!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
This is the story of my parents, who celebrate 32 years of marriage today!
A few months ago at a marriage retreat my dad was asked to answer the question "what do you like about your spouse?", dad responded with some niceties and then out came "the fact that she hasn't lost that new wife smell!" My dad in a few silly words shared something so important to me, marriage is about humor and being willing to love and laugh with each other through it all!
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I love you!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
TO MY CHILD- by Sally Meyer
*Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
*Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
*Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
*Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.
*Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.
*Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.
*Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
*Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
*Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
*Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
*Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.
*Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
*I will think about the mothers And fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.
*And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day............
Dear Father God may I truly understand that you have blessed me with two precious lives and have the wonderful opportunity of sharing the newness of life with each and everyday. May I live in the moment with them and may we enjoy this amazing world you created for us. Thank you for the humor, imagination, smiles, giggles, and soft sweet skin of Tyler and Tanner. In Jesus name, Amen