Monday, April 11, 2016

I Don’t Know the Future, but I Know Who Holds It

The last few months, really almost a year now, I have struggled with lots of things; health, finances, family issues, just so many things.  It seems like peace has been hard to find and I've really had to learn to trust in God.  So many things that we just don't know how are going to work out but know that we serve an Almighty God that won't let us go.  Today I was having a particularly bad day and have reminded myself so many times to trust, let go, let God.  Basically a resounding pep talk all day long and this comes up in my FB news feed.  I started to share then I changed my mind.  I posted something earlier today on FB and have since had countless messages and text messages asking if I was okay.  I still wanted to share though and it came to me...share on your blog.  Someone might read it and if not you might need it later.  So here goes... written by Tracie Miles on Proverbs 31 Ministries.

"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no."  Exodus 16:4

I had barely slept as the worries in my heart grew bigger and bigger in the darkness. When the sunshine finally peeked through my window, I immediately began to pray. I poured out my heart to God and dumped all of my concerns at His feet.

But as I continued praying, I began to notice a pattern. No matter what circumstance or concern I shared with God, they all seemed to share one underlying theme — the fear of lack of provision.
You see my personal circumstances had changed, and suddenly my future was not as secure as it once seemed. I felt God convicting my heart with the need to stop fearing the unknown and start trusting Him with the unknown. Then I heard a gentle whisper in my spirit saying, “I alone am your Provider.”

With eyes closed and tears threatening to emerge, I nodded my head, “Yes, Lord. You are. Forgive me for doubting Your provision. I seek Your peace and ask You to take away the fears gripping my heart. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know You hold my future. Amen.”

I opened my eyes and felt Jesus nudging me to have some time alone in His Word, so I picked up my phone and clicked on the app where I read one of my daily devotions. Immediately, hot tears pushed through my eyes as I realized the devotion was echoing the prayer I had just prayed minutes earlier. It specifically addressed the fears for provision I had just shared with God. In fact, it was nearly word for word. God had heard the cries of my heart, and He wasted no time reassuring me He was listening.

The devotion was based on today’s key verse in Exodus where God provided for His people in a miraculous way. It was designed to bring them closer to Him, as they were forced to trust Him for their provision on a daily basis.

I read about how the people of Israel had looked everywhere but “up” for their needs to be met. They’d been slaves to the Egyptians, and after God set them free, they had to fully trust Him for all of their needs. The slaves were physically free but still mentally enslaved to their habit of looking for provision from people and things.

I thought about where I usually looked for provision, and none of them were “up.” I looked to my job. I looked to my husband. I looked to my checkbook or my savings account. I looked to my goals and dreams. I looked to my relationships. But now life was changing, and God was calling me to look to Him.

Then I read further in the passage to Exodus 16:8 which says, And Moses said, This shall be, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that theLord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.” (KJV).

Ouch. I had been doing a lot of complaining and sharing my concerns. I realized my complaints were not only to my Provider, but against my Provider. The One who had always provided for me in the past, and He would continue to do so in the future, even if I didn’t know exactly how.
After reading the devotion and thanking God for reminding me He was my Provider, I felt a wave of peace. Admitting my need for God and trusting Him as my Jehovah-Jireh, lightened my heart and changed my perspective from that day forward.

I still may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds my future. And He has your future in His hands, too.

Lord, I have been feeling enslaved to my thoughts of worry and doubt and I seek Your forgiveness. Help me remember You alone are the One who will provide for all of my needs — physical, spiritual and emotional. Help me recognize the sweet ways You are raining down manna each day and to trust You alone with the future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Philippians 4:19, “
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus..” (KJV)
The devotion that Tracie Miles read when she encountered God’s voice was from the free Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 devotional app. It will transform your time with God as you give Him the first 5 minutes of every day. Join us for the study of Acts on the First 5 app, beginning April 25! Get the Acts Experience Guide here.
If you want to grow closer to God and trust Him with your past and your future, you’ll be inspired by Tracie’s book, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future.
What provisional needs have you been most stressed about?

How might committing to trust God as your Jehovah-Jireh bring peace to your heart today?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

He Will Make the Flowers Bloom!

The sun will shine again, the flowers will bloom again, the trees will have leaves again, the sun will shine again! 

This last year and specifically the last 6 months have been very hard on our family.  My step-father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Charlie was sick for about 3 months with an infection in his lungs.  With Charlie sick we had a very limited income.  I wondered if the flowers would ever bloom again.  It seemed like depression was a very close friend but I had to stay positive.  I couldn't let this storm rock my world.  Charlie, who is always positive, has showed signs of depression too.  

The last month though has been better.  Charlie is almost working full-time again.  He is up to about 85% capacity.  I can still see that he has trouble breathing from time to time but not anything like the way he was before!  I can see a brighter day in our life.  As I look out my window this morning I can see that the leaves on the trees are beginning to appear, the dandelions are abundant in my yard, and the tulips are blooming!  God is always good!  

Romans 8:28 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.


Monday, February 29, 2016

One Year and One Month

Who knew?  Facebook has won...

I think about blogging and then I remind myself that no one reads this page.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

1 year ago...

It is hard for me to believe that I haven't written on this blog in over 1 year.  I used to post religiously.  Well that is an exaggeration.  Not religiously but often.  Okay, maybe not even often but sometimes.  The point is I've never went an entire year without writing.  I can blame it on lots of things going on in my life; school, managing the business, babysitting, etc.  However, when it comes down to it I just didn't make the time.

The past few days I've thought a lot about this blog.  I need a place to write down some of my thoughts.  I thought about starting a journal then my mind would drift back to this blog!  I am going to attempt to write more often.  I know my followers are nonexistent and that is okay!  I just want to write what I feel without fear of judgement.  So, this is me.  I'm putting myself back out there, coming out of my box, and letting go!

I am going to re-share a post that I wrote a year ago and it describes me to a T...


Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

As I look outside my window:
It's dark now and cold outside.  The temp has slowly went down from about 50 this morning and now it's in the 20's!  brrrr

Right now I am:
Sitting at the kitchen table.  We've finished supper.  Now I'm getting all my invoices and things processed from today's installations.

Thinking and pondering:
Going over different things and trying to come up with ideas on how to raise money for our mission trip to Haiti in March.

On my bedside table:
I'm reading an assigned book called "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" and I'm also participating in a bible study over the book "Made to Crave"

On my TV tonight:
TV?  What's that?  With school, our business, and the normal housewife duties I just don't have time for TV.

Listening To:
My husband has the TV on in the living room.  I don't know what he is watching but I can hear it in the background.

On the menu for this week:
Monday - Skillet Spaghetti 
Tuesday - Chicken Taco Soup
Wednesday - Apple Chops
Thursday - Turkey Casserole
Friday - ?
Saturday - ?
I purchased a new cookbook a couple weeks ago and I love it!  It literally includes a weekly menu plan for 4 meals, a grocery list, and recipes!  Oh, and every recipe is less than 500 calories per serving!

On my to do list:
Right now this was the last thing on my to do list for the day!  I'll be going to bed shortly!

Plans for this week:
Monday - Babysitting Isaac & Sophie
Tuesday - Babysitting Isaac & Sophie
Wednesday - Babysitting Isaac & Sophie - I have an English Unit quiz and a discussion post in Western Civ due.  Evening church service
Thursday - Study for Western Civ & Music Appreciation Test
Friday - Test in Western Civ & Music Appreciation

What I am sewing, knitting, crocheting, or creating:
I have many unfinished projects on my table; hairbow holder, pillowcase dresses, paci clips, bibs...

My simple pleasure:
Morning coffee...

Lesson learned this past week:
Things break.  It doesn't mean that I have done anything wrong.  It just means that appliances won't last forever.  It's just life!  Now I need to figure out how to buy a new coffee pot and a new dryer.

Looking around the house:
I need to spend some time cleaning.  I have so much on my plate that most days I simply pick up, and straighten up but my floors need swept & mopped and my furniture needs dusted.  I'd like to do that on Saturday!

From the camera:
looking forward to spring
Prayer List:
My Mother who is having a procedure tomorrow.  My Dad who is having health problems.  Our Mission Trip to Haiti - praying we'll be able to raise the money that we need.

Bible Verse, Devotional:
"...Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was whole from that hour." Matthew 9:22 KJV


Friday, January 24, 2014

That's me to a T

I wish I ...

  • owned a multi-needle embroidery machine so I could have a thriving business.
  • had a garden full of fresh vegetables.
  • could lose weight.
  • had a beautiful front yard with colorful flowers and beautiful landscaping.
  • had a college degree.
Chapter 3 of Made to Crave fits me to a T!  You see I look around at life and the things I wish I had but very rarely do I ever put in the time to make these things possible.  Granted I may do it for a while but then I quit.  Yes, I'm calling myself out today.  I'M A QUITTER!  Why?  because I lack the motivation it takes to invest the time & energy into finishing the project.

Do you need examples?  Okay, here goes:  Last year I planted seeds for tomato & cucumber plants.  I watered them as needed until I saw the first little buds.  They were so cute & adorable.  When the time was right I transplanted each bud into it's own little pot.  Hoping and praying for fresh vegetables come summer.  Guess what?  Those little plants never made it out of the little pots.  I let them die.  I didn't water them and care for them enough to keep them growing.  Some other project came up that took more of my time and they never made into the ground.  So, guess what?  I bought all my tomatoes & cucumbers from a fruit stand down the road.  I wanted the fruit but I didn't have the necessary gumption to do what was required of me.

Do you need another example?  I love to sew!  I own a small single needle sewing/embroidery machine.  I have people all the time ask me to make things for them and I my own time.  I would love to own a multi-needle embroidery machine.  Why you ask?  Because I'd love to expand my business.  To do that requires that I invest money and I mean a good chunk of money!  That requires that I invest a lot of time to really sew every day.  Not just every other day or when I 'feel' like it!  Now on this subject something else comes into play and not just the necessary discipline to do the work.  I am scared of failure.  What if I invest all this time & money and I fail?  

That brings us to my third example, losing weight!   For years I've wanted to lose weight and I need to lose weight for my health.  I turned 40 this last year and I made a commitment to be more healthy!  Guess what?  I've lost 20 pounds and then I stopped.  I've made so many excuses; first it was all our family birthdays in October, then came Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.  I mean who can diet during all those parties.  Why should I deny myself?  Please!  

In my mind I know that I can't just wish myself thinner and it happen.  I know that I have to put in the time and be committed but my heart doesn't follow my mind.  I have to have the will-power and determination to keep trying.  How do you change your heart?  My heart wants chips, salsa, cheese, and pasta!  

Is it really my heart?  or does my heart want to be thin and my mind isn't following suit?  I don't know but what I do know is I need a change.  I need to be less scared of failure.  I need to realize that God is in control, that is if I let him be.  

My nephew had his tonsils & adenoids removed back in December and I took care of him a couple of days.  I tried relentlessly to get him to eat & drink.  I followed him around with a cup of water constantly trying to get him to drink.  Finally he said "I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it!"  That is me!  My will is so strong that I feel like I am being deprived of things that I want and I began to justify why I should just eat what I want, buy what I want, sew when I want, etc.  

Something has to give!  I'm tired of the constant struggle.  I'm tired of having the will power for weeks on end and then just giving up.  I'm not just referring to food either.  I need this in my life.  In all my decisions.  In everything I want or desire.  If it is good then I need to be willing to invest the time, energy, money, effort, and most of all my entire mind and heart to completing my goal!  

I need to quit giving up because no one who gives up win a race, right?  That's why I say that it is a heart thing!  My point today is that it sounds like my will needs to be broken so that I can have God's will in my life.  I know God isn't going to just hand me everything in life.  He is not the fairy godmother in Cinderella!  However, if I will work for the good things I desire then he will give me those things.  He can also give me a change of heart!  

Prayer...I've been doing a lot of that lately.  


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Permissible But Not Beneficial

I wanted to participate in today's blog hop but after reviewing the options I thought that I didn't have anything to contribute and then I opened my email.  Do you see that picture above?  Isn't it beautiful?  Starbucks is my weakness and I promise you that 10 years ago Starbucks was the beginning of the end for me.  On my way to work each day I passed a Starbucks.  Before too long I became a gold card member.  Every day I would order a Grande Toffee Nut Latte and some days I'd even order the Toffee Nut Brownie to go along with it.  Not many days passed and I found myself 50 pounds heavier than I was when I moved to Knoxville.  Fast forward to today.  You see I now know how to go into Starbucks and order a drink that is good and not bad too bad for me; a non-fat sugar free vanilla latte.  It also is about 1000 calories less than a Toffee Nut Latte.

As soon as I opened this email I started thinking about how I could possibly swing by a Starbucks today.  It says it is handcrafted just for me!  It's like that little cup is taunting me.  How does Starbucks know that I am trying to purge my life of things that are not beneficial for me?  You may ask does Starbucks really hold you captive?  I will answer at times YES!  I see a commercial or receive emails such as this and I immediately feel like I need that latte.  So, I ask myself these questions.  Do I really need it?  Is it beneficial for me?  Is it really worth the calories that I'll consume from just a drink.  I could eat an entire meal for the calories that small cup holds.
"All things are lawful for me...but all things edify not." 1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV
This is the verse that we are studying in our Made to Crave online bible study this week.  In the book she says she would quote this verse over and over to herself to remind her that although she could have those brownies or chips that they wouldn't benefit her in any way.  Today I choose to be #empowered in making a choice that is beneficial for me and not just permissible.  I will not feel deprived of an unhealthy choice!  I will enjoy my one cup of coffee this morning and then water the rest of the day.  Today Starbucks will not control my decisions!  I am trying now to ask myself this question before eating or drinking anything; Is it beneficial for me?