Saturday, December 31, 2011

20 Questions for a New Year's Eve Reflection

I received an email the other day from (in)courage concerning personal reflection for 2011. In the email, 20 questions were given a spring board to get the reflection gears grinding. A printable free pdf version can be found at Simple Mom's website. If you aren't on (in)courage's mailing list, please consider doing so. Every email is so uplifting and glorifying of the Lord.

1. What was the single best thing that happened to you this year?

Without a doubt the single best thing that happened to me this year was rededicating my life to the Lord.

2. What was the single most challenging thing?

Most challenging would be related to #1. It was challenging to change my way of living to reflect a life which glorified the Lord. It was easy to talk the talk, but I found it much more difficult to walk the walk--especially in the beginning.

3. What was an unexpected joy this year?

An unexpected joy this year would be making so many new friends at church. I've been intentional about surrounding myself with others who believe similar to my beliefs. Meeting and getting to know so many women in bible-study was a wonderful, unexpected joy. I tend to be very quiet and reserved around people I don't know well. Many of these women took me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow spiritually and personally.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

We dealt with some family issues at the first of the year. Many feelings were hurt and tempers flared, but we survived--and we still love each other. Also, finding out in Nov that my department was being outsourced, and I would no longer be working with my work "family."

5. Pick 3 words to describe your year?

Overall, I'm blessed

6. Pick 3 words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (Don't ask them! Guess based on how your spouse sees you).

Should slow down

7. Pick 3 words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (Again without asking them).

Experiencing spiritual growth

8. What were the best books you read this year?

I didn't read as much as I'd hoped, but I loved the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Right now, I am reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey. It has been so good too! I did finally break down and read Twilight this year!

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

I am blessed to have many valuable relationships. One relationship that I found to be most valuable this year was with my mom. I realized this year how often I have taken her for granted in my life. She exceedingly goes above all of my expectations of what a mom/Nanny should be. (Mom, if you are reading this--I love you so much! And, I appreciate every thing you do for me and the boys even when I fail to tell you so! Just know that, okay?) I also grew in my relationship with my sister. She and I tend to be from very opposite ends the spectrum. But, I realized this year we are more often alike than not. (Leigh Ann, if you are reading this--I love you too! Thank you for asking for my advice. It makes me feel important to you. Thank you for being a wonderful sister and friend.)

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

It may sound silly to some people, but this year I found my breaking point with my "trash in-take." I found myself deleting people on FB who posted inappropriate stuff. I switched TV channels when risque stuff came on. I changed radio stations and now listen to contemporary christian all the time. I decided that it would be easier for me to reflect a Christian's life by monitoring what I was taking in--and guess what?!? It seems to be working (and a lot easier than I would have ever thought it would be)!

11. In what ways did you grow emotionally?

I learned to have lesser expectations of people and to expect more from myself.

12. In what ways did you grow spiritually?

I started and completed my first bible study. I've only taken one other study which I did not finish. I was so thankful to have been apart of the One in a Million study by Priscilla Shirer.

13. In what ways did you grow physically?

My hair color changed at least 3 times! Does this count? Seriously, I can't think of any physical growth--mainly emotional and spiritual growth.

14. In what ways did you grow in your relationships with others?

It's kind of the same as #3. I met many wonderful people this year at church. I've grown very close to many of these women. My relationship with my husband also changed this year. I found myself falling more in love with him as I watched him turn his life around. I also learned that in order to maintain relationships, you must dedicate time to each one. This is so hard with the busyness of my life, but something I plan to be more intentional about in 2012. A big way I have experienced growth in my relationships is by praying for other people--especially my sweet friends who are still in waiting on their miracles.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

Work: My co-workers!!!! Home: My Family!!!

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

Work: Staying on task =) Home: Staying caught up with housework

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Probably all of the time I spent on FB. Shocking, I know.

18. What was the best way you used your time in this past year?

Using my blog to witness for Christ and record private thoughts and memories for my family.

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this year?

To give people flowers while they are alive instead of when their dead. (read into that further). I also learned to choose my words wisely and to evaluate an entire situation from all points of view. Lastly, I learned some things never change and you have to just say, "it is what it is" and be done with it.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

I copied this from one of my friend's FB status' but I couldn't have said it any better myself:

‎2012 is hours away. As I reflect on 2011, there have been highs and lows, good and bad times, tears and laughter, losses and gains, deaths and births. Through all of it, I have been gently cradled in the Lord's arms as He carried me through the lows. His footsteps were visible as He walked beside me in the highs and good times. 2012 I will continue to trust "His Unseen Hand" and "Give Him the Glory".

The truth is, I have experienced His Unseen Hand in my life--probably more times than I realize in 2011 alone. I've experienced God's Grace and His mercy. So 2011 was a great year. I'm looking forward to the next!

Happy 2012 Sweet Friends! May this be the year the Lord returns!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011...well, almost!


Hello 2012! Where did you come from? Overall, 2011 was pretty kind to me. Here’s a quick timeline of our year:



In Feb, this little man turned TWO! Can anyone guess what color icing was on his birthday cake!?! HA! Kade is becoming a big boy, which makes me happy and sad simultaneously. He has a rock star personality, and he constantly keeps us on our toes. He’s so sweet at times, but is Mr. Independent. During times of frustration, I remember that these days are going by too fast!





In April, our nephew, Dawson turned 14! He also began high school. He’s officially a Greyhound! That’s him, #70 below. If I were #89, I think I’d just run the opposite direction!




Alex and Dawson both love hanging out with Nate. He becomes one of the boys when they are around, but you can also tell that Nathan loves them both so very much by the time and attention he gives them. Camp Saint Nate for life =) (I know the Killian’s will get that!)







My sweet niece, Sarabeth, was born in May! She’s my chunky monkey! One day, she’ll probably hate me calling her that. But seriously, she’s got the cutest, chubbiest cheeks on earth. And, I could just kiss them off!!! I love her soooo much!








My nephew, Josef, become Kade’s BFF somewhere along the way in 2011. When Joe walks into the room, the world stops spinning for Kade, and Kade becomes Joe’s shadow. I love that they are so close, and I pray that they will always be.







In July, our nephew, Alex, came to visit. He lives in Montana! We love him so much, and every year while he’s in NC we try to convert him over to a Duke fan. As you can see, he’s a Turdheel…





Last year at Christmas when he came to visit, he left his appendix here! I told him next time he wanted to stay longer, he just needed to miss his flight!




This year he’s a stud!




My older niece, Kenleigh, started high school!!! EEEEEK! It’s so hard to believe she has grown into the beautiful young lady from that sweet little baby who changed our family forever: The first grandchild! She’s so teeny-tiny compared to her classmates, but she’s a feisty little thing! I love that about her. I love that she’s also cheering at East Burke! Go Cavs!



Isn’t she pretty?




My parents celebrated their 35th anniversary in June. My mom keeps the boys during the day so Kyle and I can work. They are the best parents in the whole wide world! You couldn’t convince me otherwise. They spoil my boys rotten and I wouldn’t have it any other way!




And they couldn’t be prouder of all FIVE of their grandkids!




My sweet hubby and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary in August! He is my knight in shining armor. We were able to celebrate our anniversary in Jamaica! It was wonderful! We are already saving for our 10th anniversary where we will return to the Dominican Republic. Our favorite destination so far is the Excellence Resort.









On Oct 29, I said goodbye to my Grandpa. Following a period of declining health, he passed away. I don’t think I realized how much I loved him until after his passing. I have many regrets in our relationship. For a long time I blamed him for failing to be the grandpa I thought he should be. But, I was never the grand-daughter he deserved either.




My sweet baby boy, Kohen, turned one! He’s such a blessing to our lives. He is the happiest baby I’ve ever seen….a little spoiled…okay, a lot spoiled, but sweet as can be.






This has been a good year for my sister, Leigh-Ann, and I. It finally feels like we are friends and not just sisters! We balance each other out now—what a huge change from childhood when we drove each other CrAzY! She found true love again and we are so happy for them!








There were many visits with the Killian Family in 2011. I love my in-laws! They accept me for who I am, flaws and all, and they choose to love me despite that! They are my in-loves and I’m very blessed to be apart of their family! I’m trying to help it grow and grow! ;)










These little/not so little guys keep the Killian grandparent’s very, very busy!




It’s been a great 2011! I wish you all well in 2012! We are closer to the return of Christ, so that makes me just giddy!



Love you all!



Kyle, Elaine, Kade, and Kohen


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Truths...


I’m borrowing this idea from my sweet friend, Kristen. I love her blog, and I enjoyed reading her list. I thought I would share my own list of Christmas truths. And, nothing speaks lists like bullet points…




  • I drive many of my co-workers crazy because I tend to start counting down the days to Christmas in July. Even in the midst of 100 degree weather, I can get excited about Christmas being 6 months away.

  • I’ve been known to play Christmas music as early as August.

  • As a kid growing up, we would always play Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s Christmas CD while decorating our tree. I still have this CD today and I enjoy it so much when I play it. The music floods me with so many fond memories of my childhood holidays.

  • Every year, my mom’s side of the family will meet on Christmas Day and eat Oyster Stew. This tradition is older than I am. As a kid I can remember not even willing to try it. I always had a hotdog or BBQ instead. But, I do like it now, and I even introduced it to Kade last year.

  • Last year at Christmas, my dad was recovering from having a stroke. Since then, he has been so fortunate to make a full recovery.

  • In 2008, we buried my Aunt Cathy on Dec 17 after she loss her life from having a severe asthma attack. The asthma triggered a heart attack. She was only 43 years old.

  • I’m guilty of reminding my kids that “Santa is watching.” By the way, it hasn’t worked thus far.

  • Santa came and took Kade’s gifts away two weeks ago. While I was cooking breakfast, he decided to open one. Kade has been told that Santa will bring them back on Jesus’ birthday.

  • For the past two years, our nephew Alex has been able to spend Christmas with us. He lives in Montana, so we’ve really enjoyed this time with him.

  • This Christmas will be my niece, Sarabeth’s, first Christmas.

  • I’m actually finished Christmas shopping.

  • My kids are spoiled! Kade and Kohen are getting mostly gifts together since we have every toy known to man for kids 2 and under. I feel like Kohen is getting cheated just a bit, but I know he’ll soon grow into the older toys.

  • I’ll be wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.



What are some Christmas truths you have?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prayer Request

The last few weeks at work have been really stressful.  After multiple interviews, I found out that I will be moving to Customer Service effective Jan 31, 2012.  The Lord graciously answered my prayer request by giving me a schedule that did not interfere with church, school, or family obligations.  However, by accepting the position I am also putting someone who was part-time out of work.  

 

I’ve been really struggling with this decision, and I humbly ask you to join me in praying for this situation.  I am a student and do not have plans to make a career with my company.  In fact, I returned to school because I was continually told that I lacked working experience despite working for my employer for 13 years.  It’s the only full time job I’ve ever had. 

 

This past fall, the bottom fell out of the economy and teachers were being laid off by 100s.  I prayerfully decided that now wasn’t the time to student teach and quit (what I thought was) a stable job.  I would risk being unemployed after student teaching.  I rationalized this decision by my lack of experience in education too.  By postponing student teaching, I still knew that finishing my degree would be a priority for me.  How could it not?  I had taken so much time away from my husband and children that I owe it to them to finish.  I had also assumed additional student loan debt.  I will finish my education degree.  It’s what God has called me to do.

 

Now, even though I know my employer isn’t going to provide a career for me, something feels wrong about taking someone else’s job away.  I know I have to do what is right for my family by continuing to work until I can student teach again in Fall 2013 with another cohort.  So, I feel like I made the best decision I could for my family by staying with M*I.  So, how can something which feels right also feel so wrong?

 

Please pray for me.  Pray more-so for the person who will be unemployed soon because of the predicament I’ve been put into.  The whole thing stinks.  I DO NOT LOVE THE WILDERNESS!

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 30

Over the past 30 days, I've been blogging about some of the things in my life that I am thankful for. By no means, is this list a complete list of all the blessings that God has more than abundantly poured out over my life. I am so thankful that I completed this challenge for many reasons. It forced me to slow down and enjoy the "now." It encouraged me to find the good in a trying time in my career. It disciplined me to actively study the Word of God. And, perhaps best of all, it taught me about obedience and discerning the voice of God as I apply biblical principles in my daily life.

I am so thankful for those of you who have hung around for the past 30 days. I am thankful for the text messages and the comments you left me letting me know you were/would be praying for me. I am thankful that I have this blog to document my life, as un-eventful as it may seem to some. I am thankful that I am free to be me--the real me--here and that many of you come back day after day.

Lord, I can never say how much I am thankful for my family and friends. I've been blessed by the greatest husband I could have ever wanted. I truly believe Kyle is an answered prayer in my life, except he goes above and beyond anyone I could have ever prayed for. I am completely in awe of my children--two sons I never imagined I would ever hold or care for. But, you saw better Lord, and I want to thank you for that.

I have parents and a sister who have always loved and supported me. I have in-laws I know I can count on. I have numerous other family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews) who I know would give me the shirt off their backs, who will love me unconditionally, and who have inspired me to be better than average with God's help.

Although there is uncertainty surrounding my job, I have one--and I'm thankful for that. I have coworkers who I treasure. They do so much to encourage and inspire me. I am sooooo thankful for my church and church family. I'm growing as a Christian under the guidance of our pastors and the fellowship of our members. I've made many wonderful friends who are reliable, prayerful women I can connect with on so many levels. And, Lord, you have blessed me with so many friends outside of church or work. I still have friends from high school or other periods of my life. Thank you Lord for the blessing of these people.

At times I feel dog-tired, okay...most of the time...but I am healthy. Thank you Lord. When I am sick, I have insurance so that I can seek medical attention. That, too, is a blessing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Lord, you've been extra good to me...good despite my neglect of your goodness...good despite my sins....good despite my failures. So most of all, I am thankful Lord for You, and everything that You are...to everyone. You are my life, and it's my soul focus to live a life that reflects You and brings honor and glory to You...because You deserve so much more.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 29 (late)

I’m sorry folks!  I’ve blogged more than once about how stressful work has been lately.  When I got home last night, I was wiped out.  I had a terrible headache, and I ended up falling asleep while Kade was watching Toy Story 3 on DVR!  

 

I was meaning to post this yesterday:

 

Today I am thankful for this bible verse.  When the enemy tries to rob me of my joy, or he tries to remind me of past sins, I speak this verse over and over. 

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:

old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

New.

Redeemed.

Forgiven.

Changed.

Satisfied.

Happy.

Joyful.

New.

Monday, November 28, 2011

DaySpring Winner...

I'm sorry for the delay friends. Thanksgiving has been extra chaotic this year. So, I did as I promised...slips of paper, little hand, big bowl....and Kade drew out



Julie


I was going to post the video, but I sound like such a country-bumpkin that it's almost embarrassing!!!!! Okay, it is embarrassing! You'll have to just take my word for it!




Congratulations Julie! You have one week to email me at elaine.killian@gmail.com so I can send you the $20 promotional code! If I don't receive a response by Monday, December 5 I will draw a new winner!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 28

I am thankful that God's mercies are new every morning... Things are certainly stressful right now with the uncertainity of my job. I know I have needed the renewed opportunity to experience Him and His goodness.

This may not have the same meaning for God as it has for me. I mean, it's not like He sleeps at night (at all!!!) and wakes up to a renewed sense of grace. It is us who require that sleep--that rest--from all of life's chaos. Somehow, when we curl up on our pillows at night after a stressful day and we pray that tomorrow will be better, we know it will be because 1)it's a new day, and 2) God's mercy and grace are refreshing (again!).


Praise God that He doesn't grow weary of us when we are growing weary of ourselves! Amen?!? Instead, He gives us the same opportunity to receive His mercy, grace, and blessings tomorrow when the bleak circumstances of today interfere. Isn't He amazing?



It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lamentations 3:22-24





Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 27


I am thankful for my church. The moment you walk into the doors, you can feel the presence of God. I am thankful that my pastors speak truth. I am thankful that my church's alter is always open. I am thankful for the members. I am thankful for their encouragement. I am thankful Kyle and I have chosen Winkler's Grove to attend. I am so thankful for this house of worship, a place where the Spirit of God leads and its members follow.

I am thankful that the following passage tells where, why, how, and who should praise the Lord.

Where:

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of his power."


Why:

"Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness."


How:

"Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.


Who:

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.


Psalm 150: 1-6




Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 26


Today, I am thankful for the Book of Life. But more importantly, I am thankful that my name is recorded in it.


"And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." (Exodus 32:33)

"And at the time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:1-2)

"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:16-18)

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)

*************************************
And I'm thankful if your name isn't written in the Book of Life it can be by becoming saved.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Easy, No Bake Dessert for the Holidays: Lush Cake

I recently made a Lush Cake for my women’s bible study class.  It’s super quick, easy, and requires no cooking—my kind of recipe!  With the upcoming holidays you may want to try it for your family and friends.  This is my version and is slightly different than the recipe from Kraft.

 

Lush Cake

 

Ingredients:

Angel Food Cake

2 boxes of Instant Vanilla pudding

1 can of pineapple chunks or pieces, drained but reserve the juice

1 Lg Cool Whip

Strawberries, sliced

*optional bananas, blueberries, or other fruit

 

Directions:

  1. Crumble Angel food cake in bottom of medium size dish or bowl.  (I’ve also made this recipe using the small angel food cakes for serving strawberry shortcake.  There is a picture below using a whole angel food cake horizontally producing 3 layers.)
  2. Using the reserved pineapple juice and ½ container of cool whip, mix with packs of Vanilla pudding until well mixed.  (omit milk from pudding recipe)
  3. Pour ½ of pudding on top of angel food cake in dish.  Layer with ½ pineapple and ½ strawberries. 
  4. Repeat layers
  5. Top with remaining cool whip
  6. Garnish with fruit.

 

Serve chilled.  Will serve approximately 10-12

 

This is the layered result c/o Taste of Home

There recipe uses Fat Free ingredients.  Check it out too.

 

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 25

Today, I am thankful for my parents who have loved and supported me over the last 31 years of my life.  I’m pretty sure that I caused (most of) the “grey” in their hair. 

 

Thank you Mom and Dad for all you’ve done for me.  Thank you for giving me all the things I needed growing up.  Thank you for taking me to church.  Thank you for teaching me right/wrong even though at times I mixed the two up.  Thank you for forgiving me from all the mistakes I’ve made.  Thank you for the phone calls and words of encouragement.  Thank you for being the best parents anyone could ever have.     

 

“Honor thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

(Exodus 20:12)

 

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

(Proverbs 22:6)

 

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

(Isaiah 54:13)

 

 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 24


I am thankful for the things I know...


1. I know that I am saved.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

2. I know that I am saved eternally.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10: 28)

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of god: that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:13)

3. I know the truth that stands forever.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

4. I know that their are no accidents with God.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

5. I know that God is on my side.

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

6. I know that the very instant I see Jesus, I will be like Him.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)


**Notes from Sermon titled "Things I Know" by Preacher Dale Faulkenbury on 05/27/2007)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RFW: Faith vs. Faithfulness

Resolution for Women: Faith vs. Faithfulness

"By resolving to be faithfully His, you are deciding to allow everything you believe about God and His Word to consistently guide your feet, your hands, your mind, and your heart--despite anything and everything that may point to the contrary." (page 77)

In your own words describe the difference between having faith and being faithful.

Faith, in my opinion, is a set of beliefs that we deem valuable in our lives. Most of the time, one's faith is personal. Its oftentimes appearance deep, if that makes sense to anyone? People may know I am a person of faith if I tell them so. Faithfulness, is putting into action the same belief system, even when circumstances are less than desirable. It may be uncomfortable, but I am faithful if I am consistently living out the faith I am professing to possess.

Just as Priscilla Shirer says,
"It's more than just having a firm persuasion; it's moving that firm persuasion into forward motion. Having a strong set of beliefs is one thing. But standing up tall on them, making decisions according to them, and adjusting your life to line up with them--that's quite another." (page 76)


I couldn't have said it in my own words, any better than that!


Would you describe yourself as a faithful person? If so, in what areas of your life?

At times, I would describe myself as faithful. I am faithful in my work attendance. I am faithful to my husband. I am faithful to my friends and family (meaning I stand by them). I am a faithful prayer warrior for those I feel burdened for. I am faithful in paying my bills on time. More notably, I can add that I now faithfully attend church services.

I also faithfully complain. I faithfully hold on to that last string of pride. I faithfully spend time on F@cebook that I should be spending elsewhere. So, this section showed me that there are areas where my faithfulness needs to grow. I need to work on turning "faith" into "faithfulness" while spending time studying God's word, relying on God to provide for my needs, and pursuing Him in good and hard times.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 23


When you are a child of God, you find that you want to live differently from what the world has deemed acceptable. Things that may not matter to someone, will really matter to you if your life has been changed. You will feel a responsibility to make restitution to people you have wrong or mistakes you have made. It’s still extremely difficult, none-the-less, to accept ownership for mistakes. But you do it, because you hear the voice of God telling you to. You may feel shame, you may try to ignore the conviction, you may hold on for dear life to your pride. But, if you are truly a child of God then when you hear the Savior’s voice, you will eventually be obedient.

This was me. Yesterday.

I felt tremendous conviction for several weeks to correct something I did wrong. Over 15 years ago. So, I sent a letter to this person saying this:

Dear (Sir),

I worked for you while I was 16 years old at your grocery store…I was a child of turmoil and I made many mistakes which I am ashamed of…One of those mistakes was never repaying you $100 you loaned me…another was I took something from your store without paying for it…. I want you to know I am a life changed by Jesus Christ….I would like to offer to pay you restitution for what I did….I have a check for you for full restitution. Please accept it as a symbol that I am not who I use to be thanks to the mercy of Jesus Christ.

In Him,
Me

That’s not exactly the letter, but that’s the gist of it. Why did I do this, you ask? I could have very well gone on with the rest of my life and never owned up to this “mistake.” The store owner didn’t know I stole something and (likely) had long forgotten about the money he let me borrow over 15 years ago. But, I hadn’t forgotten. God hadn’t forgotten—He had forgiven, but it wasn’t forgotten. So, I did it. I told on myself and tried to make it right. I didn’t want this one “BIG MISTAKE” to keep God from telling me, “Well, done my faithful servant.”

It’s not how you start life that is important. It’s how you finish life. That is what most people will remember. But, I didn’t want this old impression of me to be the only impression of me this store owner ever saw. I wanted him to see how being a Christian can change your life and make you better. God’s love and mercy is sufficient, and He will give you the strength and the courage to set yourself apart from this world.

Today, I am thankful that

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 22

 

I am thankful today for the ability to pray…anywhere…anytime…

 

“My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  

And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

(Psalm 27:8, NLT)

 

**Some of these may be repeats.  I’m trying really hard to think about what I have and have not said.  However, if I do repeat any reasons I’m thankful within the 30 Days of Thanksgiving, I know they are worthy of repeating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

RFW: Divine Appointments

Resolution for Women: Divine Appointments

(For those of you wondering what Resolution for Women is, it's the women's bible study fresh off the hills of the movie Courageous. You can read more about and watch the trailer for the movie here. You can learn more about The Resolution for Women or buy your own copy here.)

I'm starting a new unit today called Faithfully His. It's a resolution to be devoted to Christ and defined by His word.

One of my favorite quotes from this reading was

"He deserves our resolve to faithfully and consistently live up to the value we've been given, to portray outwardly to the world the inherent worth we possess inwardly by God's sacrificial yet freely given grace. We ought never to be lost among the shuffle of worldliness...driven by lowly pursuits and interests, becoming so similar in appearance to everyone else that we can't be singled out in the crowd. Rather, our goal should be to take responsibility for our actions, lining them up singularly with our God and His word, diving deep into the divine purposes for which we have been placed on earth." (page 69)

To illustrate this type of faithfulness, an unexpected example arose in Hebrews 3:1-2. "Moses was faithful in all God's house."

Here's a little snippet of Moses' life: prince of Egypt, murdered one of the countrymen, tended sheep, God spoke to him from a burning bush, led Israel out of bondage, gave excuse after excuse after excuse of why he couldn't fulfill his role, and his disobedience cost him entrance into Canaan.

"Can you relate to that?...So many blunders and mistakes stand out. So many lapses in judgement....How could you ever live up to this standard of being distinctly devoted, utterly separate, a person faithful in 'all of God's house.'" (page 71)

How is Moses' example encouraging and inspiring to you?
Moses' example is encouraging to me because it makes me realize that I don't have to be perfect for the Lord to call me to do His work. I only need to be purposeful--resolving to live at a higher standard allowing others to see God in me. Although it is easy for me to judge Moses' and all the things he did wrong, he heeded to the calling he was given and only stopped when God told him he must.

How will you be required to go against rationale or cultural pressure to stay committed to what heaven is calling you to do in this season of your life?
Contrary to what may not be popular opinion, the best way to stay committed to what heaven is calling me to do is to align my actions with God and His word. When I mess up, I am to seek His forgiveness and pursue His will persistently. I am to embrace the heavenly calling He has given me as a privilege and with a purpose.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 21

I am thankful for my husband.  Several years ago, we struggled through one of the hardest trials we’ve ever faced as a couple.  I would continually pray for God to give us a family.  Then, God opened my eyes to something I had been overlooking:  He graciously gave us a family when He gave us each other. 

 

Kyle is my rock—he keeps me grounded.  He loves me beyond what I ever could expect from a husband.  He loves me so well…  He oftentimes is the smile in my day and the warmth in my night.  But most of all, he is the love of my life. 

 

Thank you Lord for giving Kyle to me. I can’t believe that while you were creating him, you were being mindful of me.  Wow!   I feel so unworthy of his presence in my life.  I am so proud of him and the way You have grabbed a hold of his life.  He lives with a servant’s heart and strives to be the leader you have ordained him to be.  Please continue to hold him close to Your heart, Lord.  Help me to be the wife and helper he deserves.  Bless our marriage as we surrender all of our cares to you, Lord.  Be with us as we raise our children to seek after You.  Deepen the love we have found in each other.  Deepen our desire to live for and seek to embrace Your will for our lives.

Amen”     

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 20





I am thankful that we are still ONE NATION UNDER GOD.






I wasn't aware that Ronald Reagan chose to be sworn into office using his mother's bible. He also said, "If we ever forget that we are one nation under God then we are a nation gone under." No wonder he has been one of the greatest presidents this country has ever known.








  • I am thankful that even if those words are taken out of the pledge of allegience or removed from our monetary system, we are still ONE NATION UNDER GOD





  • I am thankful that you can't go against God's word in American leadership if you believe in God's lordship





  • And I'm thankful for God's promise...Change that matters...



"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,




and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;




then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,




and will heal their land."




(2 Chronicles 7:14)












Saturday, November 19, 2011

RFW: The Affirmation Crusade with Resolution

Resolution for Women: The Affirmation Crusade
Well, hello there! Long time no post on the Resolution for Women! Life has been...very life-ish as of lately. So, I was so glad that today's reading wanted me to
Take time to look back over your notes from this section.

Consider what will be required for you to live authentically, as well as the freedom you will experience when you do.

Required of me: Stop letting the media tell me who I need to be. Let God tell me who I need to be. I also need to stop letting friendships be strongholds over me, which may mean letting some people in my life go. It's sad, yes, but I have been called as a Christian to be set apart from the world. A good first step in being set apart is to examine the social circle you mingle with. It's also important for me to start wrapping my head around the fact that I am one of God's chosen possessions. Of all the things he made, He chose me when even I wouldn't have chosen me. It's time to start living a life which makes Him proud of me--putting into action all that I have been taught, becoming more like Him, being a good and faithful servant.

Freedom I will experience: I'll stop putting so much pressure on myself to live up to earthly standards. I will be able to appreciate my own God-given talents without being envious of other's. I am the only me the world has or needs. When I don't embrace myself, I could potentially be interferring with God's plan for my life and/or the lives of whom I will become in contact. I will also stop allowing the enemy to tell me that I am inadequate or ill equipped to witness to others. I don't need all the tools! God is my Carpenter and He will give me the tools I need to do His work.

Additionally, think of some other women who, for whatever reason, you are hesitant to compliment. Make a point to commend them for their unique value and worth to you this week.

Will do!

So by signing my name

I will accept and celebrate my uniqueness, and will esteem

and encourage the distinctions I admire in others.

This is a resolution I make of myself to my family and my Lord.

Elaine M Killian

November 19, 2011

Don't forget to enter my Dayspring Giveaway found here!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 19


I am thankful that no one can speak peace like God.
Perfect Peace: free from disturbances within, perfect harmony
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 24:22)
"Or let him take hold of my strength,that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me."(Isaiah 27:5)
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understadning, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
(From sermon notes taken 3/21/2007 on the message titled "Perfect Peace" by Preacher Paul Deal.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 18

I am thankful for a holy courage to be able to say this:

When I attempted suicide at the age of 16, the LORD saved me…and He gave me eternal life.

I’m so thankful that I failed.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son

That whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish

But have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know You, the only true God, and

Jesus Christ, the one you sent to Earth.”

John 17:3

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.