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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DaySpring Review :Ever Grateful Table Runner with Giveaway



My friends at Dayspring sent me this fabulous Ever Grateful Table Runner to review. When I opened it up, I remember thinking to myself that I really didn’t have any table d├ęcor to set it off as it was entitled. Unlike the photo on the website, I’m not a very crafty or decorative person, although I wish at times—especially during the holidays—that I was a little more M@rtha Stewert.





So, I began to think of where I could place this elegant table runner where it could be fully appreciated. I wanted to encourage anyone who looked at it to “Let there be thankfulness to God” as the embroidery reads.






Many of you know that last week I found out that my employer is outsourcing my departments work to another company. “Let there be thankfulness to God” that we were offered other positions within our company despite the fact that many of us will be separated. “Let there be thankfulness to God” that we’ve made life long friendships by praying for and encouraging one another. “Let there be thankfulness to God” that being confined into one work department does not define the value we have found in each other. And, “Let there be thankfulness to God” for new beginnings in our Father’s plan for our lives.


So, this is where I found God leading me to use my decorative table runner…at work, draped across two of our filing cabinets. Honestly, I don’t think I could have found a more perfect place to use it during this season of uncertainty.

We made a Thankfulness Tree, an idea my friend Deidre found on pintrest. We found a reason to celebrate each other and this new season in our lives. Every day a few more things have been added to remind us to “Let there be thankfulness to God” for all things, good or bad. Here a few of my favorites:









So, if you are like me and don't have delicate china to decorate your table this Thanksgiving, it isn't necessary. You can use this table runner for other ways to encourage the people in your life. If haven’t already done so, please visit Dayspring and find something that you can use to encourage someone else. They have the neatest items, from seasonal gifts to books to cards. They have quickly become one of my most favorite retailers.

So, I'm offering up a reader a chance to win $20 in Dayspring merchandise. If you would like to enter please leave me a comment below stating which item(s) from Dayspring you would use to encourage someone in your life and why? So all of you lurkers come out from hiding! =) You have one week to enter. I will draw a winner next Friday, Nov 25. Pieces of paper. Big Bowl. Little hand.

Disclaimer: I was provided the Ever Grateful Decorative Table Runner by Daysprings without having to pay for it. However, all opinions expressed here are my own!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 17

I am thankful for my sweet boys…two reasons for me to believe in the power of prayer, two reasons for me to be better than a good parent, and two reasons that I understand and appreciate the pain during my journey through infertility.  They are two reasons why I live for the Lord, and two of the most precious people I want to see chase after God’s own heart.  

 

“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “ Honor your Father and mother.”  This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.  And this is the promise:  If you honor your father and mother, you will live a long life, full of blessings.”

(Ephesians 6: 1-3)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RFW: Returning tomorrow!

Resolution for Women

 

Wow!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’ve been sort of going through the motions of life over the past few weeks.  First, I had the unexpected/expected passing of my Grandpa.  I say unexpected/expected because we could all see his health was deteriorating.  However, on Oct 28 my family was told by Hospice that Paw Paw’s life expectancy was 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, he died the following day. 

 

I’ve been processing my grief over this loss.  It’s a “different” sort of grief compared to what I’ve previously known.  I wasn’t incredibly close to my grandpa, despite being raised next door to him.  As I was a child, he didn’t do things I had seen other grandparents do.  He didn’t come to high school graduations…He didn’t come to the hospital when I had Kade or Kohen.  He didn’t even go to my sister’s wedding.  I allowed all those things he didn’t do to build up a wall between me and him.  I feel almost certain in saying that over the past few years, I feel as if he was full of regret and wanted a second chance.  I was not willing to give him that.  So, as he lay on his death bed, I whispered in his ear that I would see him again someday—I knew he had been saved by God’s grace.  He told our family not to worry.  He said, “I’ve made things right with God.”  I told him that I had forgiven him for all the stuff which went wrong in our relationship, but I wasn’t an innocent bystander.  I told him I hoped he would forgive me too.

 

It’s been hard.  Really hard.  Much harder than I anticipated it to be to lose him.  I don’t think I really knew how much I loved him until that moment.

 

Anyway, after I dealt with his passing the other shoe sort of dropped.  My employer is outsourcing my job to another company.  Thankfully, we are being relocated into other areas of the company, but in a lot of ways, this too feels like a death.  I am mourning the closeness of the many friendships I’ve made over the years.  I’m mourning the customers I’ll never get to talk to again.  I’m mourning the normalcy I found at work.

 

So, long story short (I know, right?!?) I’ve been in a fog.  I finished up my bible study with some pretty fantastic women last night at church; “One in a Million” by Priscilla Shirer is one of the best things I’ve completed in my life.  God used this study to show me so many things about myself and becoming “one in a million.”  I’m nervous, scared, excited, over-whelmed, encouraged, impatient—a melting pot of emotions--with all the areas God has shown me are opportunities for me to experience Him and His love for me.  I have a completely new outlook on “the wilderness.”  I don’t want to miss whatever God is trying to teach me. 

 

So I’m totally committed to returning to The Resolution for Women bible study which I’d been posting on a few weeks ago.  It will be returning tomorrow =)  Stick around!

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16

 

I am thankful for the unfailing love of Christ.

 

“O LORD, how long will you forget me?  Forever?  How long will you look the other way?  How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?  How long will my enemy have the upper hand?  Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!  Restore the light to my eyes, or I will die.  Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying “We have defeated him!”  Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.  But I trust in your unfailing love.  I will rejoice because you have rescued me.  I will sing to the LORD because He has been so good to me.”

(Psalm 13)

 

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 15

 

I am thankful for Kyle’s conviction to tithe.  I am thankful that when I say “I just don’t see how it could even be possible.  I have a budget—it doesn’t work!” that I have preachers who will encourage me by saying something like, “That’s how you know it’s of God.  It doesn’t make sense.  It shouldn’t and oftentimes won’t make sense to us on paper.  It’s more about being obedient and believing God will supply for your needs.”  I’m thankful for Preacher Paul.  And, I’m thankful my friend Jan is blogging, and how God could use her to encourage me today over this same topic.  (I love you friend!)      

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 14

Today, I’m thankful for new beginnings…

 

 

 

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster,

 to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.

(Jeremiah 29:11-14a, NLV)

 

 

 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 13

This is some of the Women of Grace from my church! We are studying Priscilla Shiers "One in a Million." Its been completely life changing and convicting for me.


Today, I'm thankful for this wonderful group of women. You have encouraged me when I have felt most un-encourageable. Thank you for your love and your friendship, but more importantly your prayers! Each one of you are truly One in a Million!
"One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray."
(Proverbs 12:26)
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for His friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you."
(John 15:12-15)

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11


I am thankful for the opportunity to choose CONTENTMENT over discontentment and JOY over anxiety. Yesterday at work, my department was told it was being eliminated. (I just was thankful for having a job earlier this week!)



We have been offered jobs (THANK YOU LORD!), but many of the schedules involve working odd or weekend hours. I really desire your prayers that I won’t have to work on Sundays…there are several of my co-workers with this same prayer. Please, please pray specifically for this.




For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry of facing either plenty of poverty. I am ready for anything


through the strength of the One who lives within me.


Philippians 4:11-13



Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed,


you will be strong in character and ready for anything.


James 1:2-4


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Complaining Bracelets

Our women’s bible study has committed to wearing a hair band on our wrist for a week.  Each time we complain, we have to switch the band to the opposite wrist.  Want to play?  Jump on in!

 

Okay, so I’ll step out in faith and share my list of complaints for Wednesday.  Prepared to be bored… 

 

  • There was dust on my dresser.  A lot.
  • As I was folding clothes, I realized I am always doing laundry.
  • I have nothing to wear to work!  (Seriously?!? With all the laundry I’m folding you would think otherwise.)
  • I need to do a clean sweep of the living room (aka the playroom outside of the real playroom) before work.
  • My desk is such a mess!
  • Is it really time to box up files again?!?  I so detest this task!
  • I would really like to eat a big greasy burger for lunch.
  • Do I really need to call this customer…again?
  • Okay, when there are 5 stalls in the women’s’ bathroom at work, and all of them are empty except the one I’m occupying, must you really pick the stall beside me?
  • I really need to cut out this massive stack of coupons on my desk…so I won’t have to keep eating sandwiches.
  • Is it not time to go home yet?!?
  • I have to drive all the way home to let out the dogs before church
  • Do my dogs seriously have to smell every leaf, tree, rock just to use the bathroom
  • I was caught by every red light on the way to my mom’s.
  • We are going to be late for church!
  • Kohen’s nose is running again.
  • Is it bath and bedtime yet?
  • Forgot to set my DVR to record the CMA’s

 

Anyone think I could give the Israelites a run for their milk and honey?  Know what I noticed? You know, besides that I won’t be writing my list anymore?  I pretty much complained my entire day.  Mostly over things I need to do none-the-less.  But, some of my complaints were pretty dumb, don’t you think?  Now listen—I’m complaining over my complaining.  Note to self:  BE SILENT!!!

 

So what’s my plan of action?  Invest in hair bands!  At this rate, I’m going to need them.  Seriously though, I need to be MINDFUL.  Most of the above really don’t matter to anyone in the grand scheme of things, do they?  Why am I allowing them to steal the slightest bit of my joy?

 

**In my defense most of these were things I thought rather than said out loud.  See—I can be silent!  I want this little experiment to be as real for me as possible, and if its to be so I must include my thoughts.

 

What did you find yourself complaining about?

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10

I am thankful for music that can minister to your soul. This song has gotten me through so much in my life. It reminds me whether my storm is raging or the winds of life are slightly blowing, HE IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE!!! Thank you Casting Crowns for reminding me!



"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 56:8)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

RFW: Happy to Be You

Resolution for Women:  Happy to be You

 

Let me just say, I *heart* this chapter.  One of the most important things I read was this:

 

“You are the only you the world has.  The only one we really need.  The one who, according to Psalm 139 has been…

  • Examined by God                 
  • Known by Him
  • Seen by Him
  • Protected by Him
  • Followed by Him
  • Blessed by Him
  • Guided by Him
  • Strengthened by Him
  • Supported by Him
  • Carefully created by Him
  • Led by Him

 

Have you ever really tried getting acquainted with this person who was important enough to God Himself to put this much time and attention into creating and supporting?”  (page 61)

 

Record uniquenesses other people see in you.  Which of these surprise you?

 

This was one of the most uncomfortable tasks I’ve completed so far.  I began by asking Kyle what he thought was unique about me, and he told me I liked to sleep.  Seriously?!?  Then he followed it up by saying, “Well you’re also OCD.  When you start looking for something, you won’t stop until you find it.”  “Okay,” I told him.  “You are just making fun of me now.”  HA!

 

So, I sent out an email to my closest friends at work and told them I was fishing for compliments!  =)  Then I explained to them the purpose of why I was asking each friend to tell me what was so unique about me, so I wouldn’t feel so bad!  Here are some of the responses I’ve received.  Please note their words are in black, my thoughts are in DUKE BLUE =)

 

Paula said:  “What admires me the most about you is how you juggle everything you do like school, work, raising 2 little boys.  I really never hear you complain about it that much, (you haven’t seen my complaining list!!!) usually just work.  But now you can be content in your work.  It was hard for me to raise just one child and work.

 

April said:  “You are very sensitive to others needs and feelings and are always looking to help someone else.  Not everyone is fortunate to have those traits!!!  And another thing, OCD does not have to be negative trait!!  IT means that once you make your mind up about how something needs to be you are not going to QUIT until things are the way they should be in your mind.  Determination (that is how I define OCD!!) is a strong trait and one you should be proud of.”  (To be fair, once Kyle stopped making fun of me, he did included determined in his list.)

 

Carrie said:  You are a very determined person, which I know Kyle said.  But you follow through with what you believe in and make it happen, whether it is with school, faith, or just things in general.  You are a very unique friend to me because no matter what I know I can talk to you about anything and you will tell me your HONEST opinion whether I necessary like it or not.”  (Please not I’d just given my friend Carrie non-solicited relationship advice.)

 

Finally, Donna said:  “You are funny!! (Most surprising to me.)  You are passionate about what is important to you—family, friends, education, work;  meaning you give those things your all, 110%.  You are a wonderful writer; caring, honest and inspiring.  You are compassionate, thoughtful and giving.  You try to do what is right and expect others to as well.  (I also expect others to do things exactly like me)  I don’t mean this negatively but you are hard on yourself when you don’t feel you have excelled.  (I took notice to this statement)  And you’ve got great teeth!” (This made me actually laugh out loud.)

 

Record how you can be more intentional about using and celebrating these characteristics.

 

I think something that Donna said really stood out to me.  I am extremely hard on myself and often set up unrealistic goals.  I’m working on it, but when I beat up on myself often enough, it’s only impacted more by the actual beating up I allow others to do on me.  I can intentionally be mindful of being caring, compassionate, and thoughtful.  I do believe God created me to be all of those things.  To showcase my determination, I have to stop taking on too many obligations.  Sometimes my determination is cancelled out by my frustration and complaining.  I portray an image that doesn’t invite other people to explore the same opportunities I am exploring, namely returning to school while balancing work and family.

 

How would the dynamics of your family, your office, or your relationships benefit from your doing this?

 

I think I would be happier—or more content.  I believe that by recognizing my own self worth, I could encourage others to embrace their own uniquenesses.  There is only one me.  There is only one you.  And that’s all the world needs. 

 

As a side note, it really made me feel good about myself to have others tell me what was unique about me.  I would like to remember in the future that we all (men and women included) need to be edified and complimented by each other.  

 

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.