Sunday, December 25, 2016

Do You Ever Feel a Christmas Let Down?

After all the rushing to get just the right things, Christmas Day is upon us. I don't know about you but the hours and weeks I put into the preparation sometimes leaves me feeling a little let down. Within a few short minutes presents are ripped open and the day is complete. It's a weird feeling. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the joy the gifts bring, but I guess I just want it to last longer. But then I'm reminded of the gift of this day that is endless! Today is the day that Love came down...GOD became man. HE sent HIS Son, JESUS CHRIST as a Love offering. A gift of such incredible greatness, to lead the way. HE came to show us how to walk through this life. HE was sent to take away our sin and shame; to wipe every tear and lift every burden. JESUS taught with words that astonished; forgive, show love and compassion, care for the lost, hurting and broken around you. HE performed miracles that caused the sick, hopeless and destitute to be healed. HE rose people from death to life. And in the end, HE surrendered all in HIS final and greatest act of Love, Sacrificed upon the shameful cross, beaten and Rise on the third day appearing in newness of life. "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"~1 Corinthians 15:5 ringing throughout Eternity. 
Love has won. 
The Risen King is Victorious. 

Friends, we often forget to accept GOD'S gift. We push aside the opening of HIS Love. We make it about us...are we good enough, deserving, worthwhile/worthy of such a gift? The answer, not one of us is worthy of such an incredible sacrifice. But the beauty of the greatest present GOD could bestow upon us, JESUS CHRIST, is that HE gave HIS Son to each of us just as we are, in our imperfect state, so that in and through CHRIST, we are made whole. HIS Grace is enough. HIS Love transforms. 

Oh friends, I'm so thankful for a Love that is enough for my lacking. I'm thankful for the day of my SAVIOR'S birth. The greatest day in history. 
Will you join in a daily choice, continually unwrapping the gift of JESUS CHRIST? 
I pray we accept HIS Grace, Mercy, Love, and Forgiveness, each and every day. May we know that JESUS has conquered anything we face; Love was born to save us all...a gift of unending joy. "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."~Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas+

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you oh thankful for?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Is It Time To Get Out Of GOD'S Way?

Have you ever had a situation arise where you found yourself upset and wanting things to be different? Well I had that happen on my Birthday. An unexpected issue arose before we were set to leave for my Birthday dream trip which had me very stressed. I almost didn't want to go. In the middle of it all I found myself alone in my car...I broke down. I began to sob and pray. I asked The LORD, (well more like begged and pleaded with HIM) to fix and completely heal the situation. 

I left on my trip and continued to pray about it. I read my Scriptures on the plane and wrote in my journal, trying to come to terms with what to do. Then JESUS filled me with Peace to just leave it alone and enjoy my trip. There was truly nothing I could do except give it to GOD. When we arrived home very late last night, I had a change of heart. This morning, after reading my Scriptures and Praying, I asked The LORD, "Please give me YOUR Words, Wisdom and Guidance on what to say and how to handle what YOU'VE placed in front of me...all of YOU and none of me. In JESUS' Name, Amen. I went downstairs and was flooded with words, tears, stories of my past mistakes and GOD'S Mercy, Love, Forgiveness, Grace, and Healing. So I continued to share how JESUS made the impossible possible. I listened. I prayed. I hugged. I allowed JESUS to show up and move hearts. 

Friends, I always talk about "no coincidences", but I need to remember that it also applies to areas that may not be ideal. There are lessons to learn, things to lay down, situations that The LORD is teaching to trust in HIM, call on HIM; allowing JESUS to move mountains of impossible. I may need to get out of HIS way, remembering that GOD is bigger than anything I face. 

So let me ask you, are you struggling with something? Are difficulties showing up out of no where? Join me in asking The LORD, "What do you want me to learn and how do you want to use me in this situation? Give me YOUR Wisdom to see, say and act the way YOU want me to, in JESUS' Name, Amen. I'm thankful for this bigger picture. I can often shrink GOD's plans down to my minimal understanding of what HE'S trying to do!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."~Isaiah 55:8-9

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Are You Wandering?

While sitting on the beach a group of monks walked past me. It reminded me of life's wandering and searching. The quest to quench a deep seeded thirst for truth. A life journey to fill an empty space. I remember all the things I'd try to fill my emptiness with before I truly accepted JESUS into my heart and life. Some things would temporarily cover the hole for a short time, but slowly, I knew deep within, I was missing something truly important in my life. Eventually, sadness and longing for more crept into my every day routine; something meaningful, healing, restoring. I wandered in search of the next thing to plug the hole, only to find the same end result. 

One day, after a dark, despair filled night, I decided to go back to church and take my whole family with me. I'd tried everything else and realized that it was time to give JESUS a try. My approach was different in that I chose to make it more than a Sunday sermon affair. I decided if I was really going to seek HIM, I needed to get into GOD'S Word and read it for myself...daily. How can you get to know someone without doing your part to get closer?  As I made a commitment to read the Bible ten minutes a day every morning, something began to happen, the truth of GOD'S words began to heal the hole in my heart. It began to heal the hurt in my soul. It began to heal my thoughts, changing my attitude, reminding me that I was loved and made for a purpose. 

I'm thankful JESUS CHRIST found me in my wandering. I'm thankful HE pulled me close. 

Friends, if you're in the wandering stage of life and still feel emptiness at your very core, I want to challenge you to seek JESUS. Don't take my word for it or anyone else's, go straight to The LORD in prayer. Ask HIM to reveal HIMSELF to you. Open up the Holy Bible and read GOD'S Words, love letters written specifically for you and I. A guide to true healing in every single area. GOD created an open place in each of our hearts that only HE can fill. 
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."~John 14:6

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Does GOD Have A Plan Even In Difficult Circumstances?

It was an amazing day at church where a new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital joined us, along with his neighbor Tina. It was their first time ever going to church and it just so happened to be Baptism week! They were able to witness tons of people giving their lives to CHRIST, accepting the freedom our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST brings. It was an incredible day of joy and celebration! 

After church we gathered together to visit, took some pictures and introduced them to some of my amazing friends/church family, who unbeknownst to them have been praying for them. I'm so thankful for the Power of Prayer and the Blessing of The LORD'S answers. I'm thankful for the opportunity JESUS places in front of us no matter where we are or what is going on, as the reminder that I met these amazing people during a difficult time, (Anthony's long hospital stay/ordeal). You see friends, GOD has a plan even during trials, a bigger picture. Join me in praying that we see people, situations and opportunity to pray for others wherever The LORD has placed us in the moment. You and I were made for more than we so often settle for. I pray we see people through the Eyes of CHRIST, allowing HIM to help us reach out to people in need. In JESUS' Name, Amen. 

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."~John 13:7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Keep Praying...GOD is Moving!

You know that thing you've been praying about? Keep praying...GOD is moving! It's true. It happened to me just the other night. Now before you go and think that I was praying some kind of super, bolder than most, faith as big as a mountain kind of prayer...I wasn't. My prayers were mustard seed size prayers. And here's how it went down:
You remember my story the other day about my new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital? He came to church last Sunday and brought his friend/neighbor, Tina, with him. Well I invited Tina to our Wednesday night Women's Bible study, because c'mon...we are stocked full of some of the most awesome, kind, loving and caring women who love JESUS. 
Well I never heard anything else from Ben or Tina during the week. So on the way to Bible Study I told my friend, Tricia, to join me in continuing to pray for them. I said, in my mustard seed size faith request, "Well, I haven't heard from my new friends, maybe GOD just wanted us to plant a seed in their hearts and HE will have someone else water it. Let's keep praying that JESUS moves in their lives and hearts wherever that may be."

So here's where it gets good! We headed into church and right in the middle of singing, I heard someone call my name. As I turned around one of the leaders had Tina with her and said she'd looking for me! Seriously GOD? You answered my small little prayers in such a big and mighty way! Oh and there just so happened to be only 4 of us sitting in a row with 5 spot perfectly waiting, open and available for Tina to join us. 

I'm so thankful for answered prayers! I'm thankful that even small, mustard seed size prayers are answered mightily! Friends, keep persevering in never know when that "empty chair" will be filled. 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~Matthew 17:20

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

A Day of Firsts

Today is a big day of *1st's* for our family, and this heart is overflowing with thankfulness! So because you are all my friends, I have to share it with you. First, it's our "Gotcha Day"!'s been *1* whole year since lil Josh became our *official* son. Although we considered him our son the day he came home with us four years ago when The LORD put him in our hearts to love even before we had met him. How amazing are GOD'S Mighty and Life changing plans? HE works Miracles each and every day. 
HE changes everything. 
Second, it's our granddaughter, Ava Grace's *1* year Birthday party celebration today! This bundle of spunk and giggles has brought such joy to our hearts. GOD's Abundance continues to pour down into our lives, filling us with more love than our hearts can almost bear. 
And third, it's Elijah's very *1st* NCAA college playoff game, and SBU's *1st* ever invitation to a playoff. When The LORD opened the door for my boy to receive a free education and continue to play the sport HE'S gifted him in, my heart leaped. But then as we often do, I started to question, "LORD, do YOU really have to send him so far?" No sooner had the thought escaped than I realized...GOD has a plan, HE sees the bigger picture and HE is *always* for us.

Friends, Join me today in counting The LORD'S Abundance in your may have overlooked it. Stop and take a more thorough review and then jump on the Thankful Train...share your abundance. 

"God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."~2 Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I Lost My Puppy!

"Oh no, where is he?" I'd just gotten home from church and my pup, who was supposed to be asleep in his play pen area (a long, tall, rectangular metal enclosure) was no where to be found! I called my oldest son to see if he took him. He said, "No". I frantically searched the house, calling his name, "Apollos, Apollos!" Exasperated, I stood in the middle of the living room thinking, "How can someone completely lose a puppy?" Then I heard a...thump, thump, thump, coming from the direction of the stairs. I ran over as he peaked his freckled little white nose around the corner. A sigh of relief escaped as I rushed over to pick him up. My little man learned how to climb up the cage to the top and tumble over the edge to freedom! I put him back in and hid to watch his escape method. Needless to say, I quickly headed back to the pet store to exchange the play pen for a crate. I'm thankful my pup is safe and didn't get into anything harmful while roaming free. 

Friends, have you ever gone outside the safe boundaries The LORD has placed around your life? I have. It was a slow, downward spiral into a disastrous mess. I didn't even realize I'd wandered too far until my life was crumbling around me. The people I love most in the world were hurt, disappointed and deeply affected by my choices to run from The LORD and HIS Loving Wisdom and Guidance. I hid for a long time in my shame. I didn't want to come out into the Light. I felt I didn't deserve to have a good life. But sitting in my hiding spot only compounded the problem, keeping me from receiving JESUS' Redeeming, Forgiveness, Love and Healing. A Healing not only for me but for my loved ones who were hurt the most by my bad choices. 

I'm thankful for this reminder of running, hiding and being found. I'm thankful for the Healing and Restoration JESUS has brought into my life and my family's. I'm thankful that in and through HIM *all* things are made new! HE is the Seeker of the lost, and broken, calling them out of darkness and into HIS Marvelous Light.
"He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake."~Psalm 23:3

"because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."~Romans 8:2

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Who Is The President Of the United States?

The hubby and I walked over to vote around 4:45. I was worried the lines would be long after seeing news reports. I'm happy to say we walked right in and straight to a polling waiting at all!

This election has been difficult. There's been such a division in our country as the candidates have appeared less than promising. But I'm still thankful for the freedom to vote. I'm thankful that as Americans, "we the people" are still able to choose who we want to lead our nation. Friends, as we await the final outcome, may we be filled with this truth...*GOD* is still Sovereign over it all. I'm so grateful for this reminder. I pray that as our next President is chosen, we will set aside all differences and come together as "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all."~1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Monday, October 17, 2016

When You Begin To Fall...

I made it up, over and around. It was low tide just like the local report said. I could've simply headed down the street for a normal beach shot, but an adventurous view was tugging at my heart. 

I sat basking in the warm glow of the setting sun. My tripod strategically placed in the middle of the fluorescent-green moss filled pools, as the sun dipped low beyond the horizon. I carefully climbed my way up a slick ledge above a break in the cliff to capture water shooting through and splashing high. 

I always push myself to areas that may be a bit treacherous attempting to achieve that perfect shot. After a short time, a rogue wave barreled up and over the entire area below. I immediately realized I'd waited a bit too long and my escape route was closing fast. I quickly scanned the ocean to see if another wave was coming. I had but a moment to get down and across the tide pools to safety. I wedged my left foot in a nook and attempted to place my right foot on an area to climb down. I hadn't accounted for the slickness of that particular spot, unaware the wave had reached that high. My foot slid down the ledge, my body following, my leg scraping on the way down, as I pummeled into the sharp, jagged pool below. My knee must've taken the blunt force. It was throbbing and I could barely walk, along with my shin, ankle and foot being pretty sliced up. But I was still in danger, so I forced myself up and hobbled to safety. 

I know, I know...what was I thinking? 
I don't know! 
I sometimes just charge forward and then find myself in deep water. 

Sin is like that, it can be enticing, attractive, misleading in its hidden danger. But when you go to those places you know you're not supposed to, you're bound to fall. 

I'm thankful I was able to walk to safety. I'm thankful I don't appear to have broken anything (pray for my knee-we'll see tomorrow). 

Friends, join me in remembering the next time temptation comes to pray before you act on it. Ask for The LORD's guidance, direction and strength to stay on the right path so you don't lose your secure footing and fall.  

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."~Colossians 2:6-7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Answered Prayer vs. Unanswered Prayer: A Lesson In Both

Today I'm thankful for answered prayer *and* unanswered prayer (a lesson in both). So let's review. I had two big prayers I lifted up today, one for health and one for favor. When I received the text that my dad's surgery to place a plate in his arm was a success and he was doing good, I was grateful. But after I knew my dad was okay...I couldn't stop focussing on the second request that didn't quite get answered the way I'd hoped. I asked, "LORD, what is going on? I don't get it?" 
And then, you know what? I planted myself right there. I sat in that place of discontentment, completely disregarding the *huge* answer I'd just received.  

Finally, after a few hours of mulling over it, I was reminded of two very important things: 
1) GOD is not my personal genie. HE is *always* working for what is *best* in every single situation. HE sees the end result to the trials and unanswered prayers. 
2) I need to trust and remain faithful in remembering all that GOD *has* done for my family and I; a constant state of gratitude. 

Friends, join me in praying for help to stay in a place of thankfulness even when some prayers seem to go unanswered. Let's ask The LORD to help us focus on the answers we *have* received...strengthening our faith. Let's ask forgiveness for the times we make it all about us, forgetting that it's really all about JESUS, what HE's done for us and our Salvation (the bigger picture.) Let's ask GOD to reveal the lessons HE's teaching in times of waiting (helping us grow).

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth."~Psalm 115:1

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Monday, October 10, 2016

When Your Mistake Costs Much

So I was watching football after church today because duh...isn't that what everyone does during the most amazing season of the year? Anyways, while waiting for my Packers game I had the Eagles vs. the Lions game on. The Eagles were undefeated and on their way to yet another win when all of a sudden the Eagles running back fumbled the ball and the Lions recovered it. The cameraman continued to flash over to the running back whose error cost the Eagles their first loss 23-24. 
The running back was sitting alone and visibly upset at the magnitude of his error. Again and again, the camera went back to focus on him. I felt so bad for the guy, he was so distraught over his fumble. Finally he put on his helmet with a dark visor attached to keep the camera off him. 

This visual reminded me how we often react to our life mistakes. We sit alone too long, mulling over again and again, mentally beating ourselves up. 
Today I'm thankful for the knowledge that while I'm not perfect and mess up often, I don't have to carry the weight on my shoulders, hiding behind a dark mask of shame and guilt. I'm thankful for a relationship with JESUS CHRIST that allows me to be forgiven, forgive myself, as well as others. 

Friends, if you've been carrying a burden for too long, it's time to let it go. Don't sit alone and hide. GOD's got big plans for you and it doesn't include moping around and looking behind. The past is past. Ask The LORD for forgiveness; lay it down and don't pick it back up. Keep your eyes on JESUS, ask HIM to take away your sins, forgive you, and come into your heart and life, making all things new. HE already paid the price, accept HIS forgiveness, the free gift HE gave to you upon the cross, rising on the 3rd day to newness of life. You've been called for more. Let the Light of CHRIST shine into the darkness. Let it go!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."~2 Corinthians 5:17

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Finding Real Treasure-A True Story!

I was headed to the beach to take pics for my niece. I stopped at Target for a quick errand. I noticed a young girl and her baby sitting out front with a sign, so I grabbed a quick gift card. I stopped to give it to her, (now this is a disclaimer: please know that I'm *not* sharing this to get kudos, I'm sharing because I was being taught an important lesson today-you'll see what I mean as you read on). I asked her name and her baby's name, "Isabella and Alejandro," she said. She was from Romania and spoke broken English. I glanced at her sign, it said she was needing a motel room for the night. I didn't have any cash, but hoped the gift card would provide for some of her needs. I was late so I told her I'd be praying for them. I got to my car, and it hit me, "Why didn't you pray for them right then? Gulp. I got back out and asked if I could pray with them. She smiled and said, "Yes." We prayed together.
I went back to my car and realized I couldn't just leave. So I looked up the number to Collette's Children's Home in HB, and went back to give it to her. Her English was broken, so I called for her. They didn't offer immediate shelter, but gave me the number of a place that did. I handed the info to Isabella along with my number, and hurried back to my car a *third* time. 

By this time my two niece's and sis-in-law were already at the beach waiting for me. I apologized and hurried to meet them. For the next few hours we took fun maternity photos with some props I brought. One of them was a heart shaped wire basket. I bought fake shells to put in it. I didn't think it was good enough so I took our prized shell collection from home that the hubby, Anthony and I gathered through some painstaking adventures. Well guess what? I left my basket/shell collection lying in the sand and when I went back down the beach to get it...someone had taken it! I was soooo upset. Those shells were amazing and special.

Now here's where The LORD reminded me of Truth, and boy I needed it. While driving home, still *very* upset about the shells and not wanting to tell the hubby (he loves them as much as I do, if not more)...this thought poured over me, "You are worried about meaningless earthly treasures. I'm calling you to search for *real* treasure...lost, hurting and broken people who need hope, love and kindness. People who are wandering without a SAVIOR." 

I'm thankful for being strongly reminded of what has *true* value...and it's *not* things! I'm letting the thoughts of my lost shells go and praying for Isabella and her baby.

Friends, join me in keeping your focus on searching for *real* treasure in your day...the people JESUS places along your path!

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."~Matthew 6:21

Jump on the ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Monday, September 19, 2016

She's Thankful For What?

We turned down the aisle at Target and there was a woman and her adorable little Pomeranian sitting in her basket just begging to be pet. Of course we stopped to play and chat. The woman, Christy, was here visiting from Yosemite. She was the sweetest, most joy filled lady, which was in direct contrast to her story. She had breast cancer and a double mastectomy a year ago. She is now cancer free. 
I shared about my ongoing cancer check-ups, struggles and many answers to prayers. 
And do you know what she told us? 
Her eyes lit up as she said, "Cancer was one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It made me appreciate my life and realize that I do not have to worry about the little daily struggles. They are truly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Life is too short to be miserable. I thank GOD each day for the gift of another day of life." 

Her words hit hard. How can she be thankful for receiving a disease that changes your life forever? This is a whole new level of thankfulness that is mind boggling...defying all human logic. But there it was. Spoken out loud in the middle of the store from a woman who was thrust into an unimaginable battle. But through her struggle The LORD met her there, revealing something deeper to her spirit. 
She told me she was going to continue to pray for me and I told her I'd be praying for her also. We hugged one another like old friends. As we walked away she said, "You are so precious Lisa. I may never run into you again here on earth but I look forward to one day seeing you in Heaven." 

Oh friends, I'm thankful for meeting this beautiful woman. I'm thankful for those daily *GOD* moments that remind.
If you find yourself struggling over the *little* things, like I often do, join me today in taking a different outlook. A renewing of mind and thoughts. A reset of truth. A *larger* view. A reminder of Blessings in the middle of struggles. Time is short. Days and years fly by. 
What are we doing with our time? 
Worrying? Stressing?
Let's ask for The LORD's help to truly see things through HIS Eyes. 

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ."~1 Corinthians 2:16

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

When HIS Words Pour Over You...

When you sit longer and the LORD pours HIS Love upon your heart, mind and soul, spilling over onto the pages. HIS Words bringing a complete refreshing to my parched spirit...

"I Am with you. Do not forget this truth. Stop laboring in your mind, body and spirit, rest in ME daily. When tasks crowd and fill your mind, your thoughts wander as you seek to grab something to steady your emotions. As you learn to continually take every thought captive into the truth of MY Word, you will find peace. I Am not a burdensome taskmaster, but a safe place to rest your weary soul. Come to MY Unending Fountain of Love, Mercy and Grace. Let it wash over you. 

This world seeks to distract you with many things. I have come that you may have Life – More Abundantly. I Am the Living Water. Come near and wash away the lies of the enemy. Do not shrink back at the difficult tasks I've place before you. As you lean into MY Strength, I Enable you to accomplish all things that bring ME Glory. Be still. Rest in MY Embrace. I Am more than enough for whatever you face. I Am the LORD your GOD, the Maker of Heaven and earth… Rest in ME. I will strengthen and renew you daily. Do not continue running through your day, giving no thought to MY Will. Stay in the moment with me. MY Grace is Sufficient. 

Accomplish what I place in front of you right now, giving no thought to what lies ahead. Wait on ME, as I take the reins of your life and your heart. Let ME lead and you follow; for in this you will find rest. You will be Renewed, Revived, Strengthened and given Wisdom to carry out MY Good and Perfect Will for your life. More of ME and less of you. Do not forget who I AM. Stop limiting ME in your life. I've called you to be a Bold, Fearless, Faith-Filled servant of your Mighty and Holy GOD. Behold the work I've place before you. Lead souls back to ME." 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."~2 Corinthians 12:9

And then He told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone."~Mark 16:15 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pushing Past Fear!

Lil Josh just got home from a week long church camp at Hume Lake. Last year we'd discussed him going because some of our older kids had gone before and had an amazing time. We knew it'd be an awesome experience for him. But he wasn't emotionally ready. He still struggled with social situations and was very nervous about it. So we told him not to worry but next year (this year), we wanted him to really think about going, pushing himself outside comfort zones...into areas where growth can occur. 

So today, I'm thankful for the incredible work The LORD is doing in his life. He had a great time! He came home and shared all that he'd experienced. 
I asked him if it'd be okay if I shared this on my Thankful Train, explaining exactly what I'd write, because I didn't want him to feel uncomfortable with sharing personal struggles. 
He told me he was fine with it. 
I'm thankful for his openness in letting me share all that the The LORD is doing in his life...which in turn shows others the difference JESUS can make in their life too. 

Friends, never underestimate the things JESUS can do in *your* life. All the past pain, brokenness, fear, sorrow and uncertainty can be turned around. HE restores all that was once lost, making *all* things new. Join me in laying it all down each day. Allow JESUS to step right into the center of the storm. 

"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit."~Psalm 34:18

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful.”~Revelation 21:5

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain, what are you thankful for?
#ThankYouJESUS #AdoptionRocks

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Look It's Pokemon GO People!

Some days you just have to say *yes* to 12 mile beach boardwalk bike rides and hand holding!😍
We rested and had a picnic lunch at the waters edge. While relaxing the hubby, Anthony said, "Look, there's some of those Pokemon Go people. Let's watch and see if they chase Pokemon into the ocean."πŸ˜‚ They didn't...but all of a sudden they both took off running full speed down the beach. Meanwhile another group of boys were playing football in the ocean. And right there in front of us, the differences. Each person uniquely and wonderfully made for a purpose. We are all wired differently. GOD's plan. 

Friends, as the world seeks to divide and separate with violence and hate, I'm reminded that GOD is still Sovereign over all. HE created each of us. We are perfectly and wonderfully made. JESUS continually calls us back to HIS Love, Wisdom, Forgiveness, Mercy and our hearts and minds back to Truth. Let's remember to use the different gifts and talents GOD's Given us for a greater purpose. Shine the Light of CHRIST in you as HE leads you to the lost, hurting and broken. This world seems to be falling apart. Let's remember who we are in CHRIST. Love more. Judge less. 

I'm thankful for the reminder of the very differences that GOD has given each of us. We are all called for a purpose. Let's not shrink back or fall short in the face of it all. Let's you and I remember to walk closer to The LORD each day, allowing HIM to Strengthen us to be all HE's created us to be. Our differences united together for HIS Will.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."~Romans 12:2

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well"~Psalm 139:13-14

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."~Romans 12:6-9

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...what are you thankful for?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What Are You Looking At?

I was sharing with someone about my daily "Thankful Train"...which I've been doing for over a year now. While telling her about my intentional, purposeful daily quest for thankfulness, I realized that my outlook has changed. I start each day in search of the *good* things; anything and everything that pops up to be thankful for. 

Friends, this is not normal for me. I spent most of my life with let downs and a feeling of "not good enough." And let me tell ya, looking at the bright side of the day was never on my radar. I had that, "if anything bad is going to happen, it will happen to me," attitude. I was subconsciously looking for what's "wrong", and lets be honest, we usually don't have to look too hard, negative things seem to be so much easier to notice than the good stuff. It's just human nature. When I accepted JESUS back into my heart and life, I felt a reason to be thankful. I felt forgiven, restored, redeemed, new...whole again. 
I was grateful. Thankful. I decided I'd wasted too many years being negative. I'd been given a "do-over" of the heart and spirit. I no longer had to walk around with a dark cloud of shame and regret following me. 

So today, I'm thankful for the choice to notice and share all the Blessings The LORD showers upon me. I pray that each of you will join me in noticing how many gifts you're given each day...the small and simple as well as the large and wonderful. You have a choice today friends...negative or thankful. 
It matters. 
Choose wisely.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!"~Psalm 105:1

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I Got Into A Confrontation

Just keeping it real...I got into a confrontation.😳
Now here's the deal, most of you locals know it's a struggle in the summer to find parking downtown as people flock to the beach. My little sis and I lucked out as we turned down a street just as someone was getting into their car. I stopped, put my blinker on and was waiting, when all of a sudden, a car halfway down the street started backing up. He pulled up next to the car leaving and sat there. I was not happy and rattled off a few, "Is he a moron or something?" comments to my little sis.😬 
I knew I had the angle on him so when the guy pulled out I pulled right in. The kid in the car stayed next to my car and flipped me off. So I rolled down my window, with arms raised, I sarcastically said, "Are you kidding me? You were halfway down the street and saw me waiting." 
He yelled back, "I've been circling the block for 30 minutes and I was barely past him. I live right there!"

Here's where it gets good my old prideful nature began to rise up, the Holy Spirit convicted me, "Give him the spot." 
I tried to resist the thought because I don't want someone ever getting the best of me and I especially don't like someone flipping me off and then getting the best of me! 
So the difficult words came out of my mouth, (the battle of my will vs. GOD'S. Pride vs Humility.), I told the kid, "You know what, I'm a Christian and I'm going to bless you today and give you this spot." 
A bit shocked, he said, "No, you keep it." 
My tone softened as I started my car, "No, you're being blessed today," and I pulled out.

I'm thankful for the very obvious work The LORD is continually doing in me right smack in the middle of life. I'm thankful that as my old nature pops up unexpectedly, JESUS meets me there, helping, guiding, teaching me to be kinder, more loving, less prideful, more giving...even when it's hard. I'm obviously still a work in progress, but I'm thankful for the *progress*.

Friends, never forget, when you say, "Yes JESUS, come into my life and have YOUR Way in me" will see progress. HE will continually direct and redirect you throughout the day. 

"He must increase, but I must decrease."~John 3:30

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...what are you thankful for?

*side note: I turned the corner and got another spot right away! How awesome is GOD?!!! 
#DailyBlessingsAndReminders #UnconditionalLove

Thursday, June 9, 2016

When Things Don't Go As Planned

After my workout today, (I was able to leave the hubby for a little bit and go to the gym-first time since becoming his home care nurse😬) I pulled up in front of the beach for a little quiet Bible study time. As I sat in my car with the prime view, my peace was suddenly interrupted by people screaming and yelling. A family carrying a large cooler, canopy, umbrella and several supplies for their beach day, dropped the heavy cooler spilling its contents. The canopy then fell out of the bag as they scurried to pick up the items rolling down the stairs. After the initial anger, everyone started laughing. They put everything back in and headed on their way ready to enjoy the day. 

Later that evening the hubby and I took a walk (I'm trying to get his stamina up for the upcoming wedding weekend adventures I have planned-hikes, deserted mines and a ghost town😜.) 
We were having a great time until we passed a lady with her dog. She must've seen us/avoided us in the past with our Allie-girl over the years and said, "I'm glad there's no dog with you today for my dog to bark at."😩😒
I almost started crying right then and there. 
I sure do miss my Allie-girl and the reminder of her passing hit deep.

So here's the thing friends, it's rare that your day will be filled with all good stuff. They are often filled with waves of, downs, twist, turns and spills. Today I'm thankful that our happiness is not dependent upon ever changing emotions. I'm thankful that as we look to our Unchanging, Steadfast, Loving LORD...we're strengthened for life's journey. HE reminds our hearts/minds that this is only a moment. HIS Truth brings to light the many times HE'S put our feet back on solid ground. 
Our emotions are secured in CHRIST...the Anchor of your soul. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."~Hebrews 13:8

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”~Revelation 22:13

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...what are you thankful for?

Monday, June 6, 2016

What Do I Do When I Mess Up?

My hubby was recently released from a two and a half week emergency hospital stay for diverticulitis, perforated colon, a blockage and C Diff infection. I'm now being trained in his home care.
I've got most of it down. I changed the hubby, Anthony's IV/drainage tubes without a nurse yesterday and it went pretty smooth. Well, that was until I got to the machine settings. I jumped the gun, hitting yes, as it cycled through an area I should've hit no. The hubby said, "You need to slow down!" He wasn't too happy with my exuberance and "I've got this" attitude/actions. 
I told him, "No big deal, everything is fixable." 
You see, I'm not the nervous type and generally plunge into things thinking, "If I mess can always be fixed". 

It got me thinking....what about when I sin, mess up, fall short of all I want to be? Do I have the same attitude or do I choose to sit in the mess feeling hopeless, lost, alone and unforgivable? 
So I ask myself...I ask you friends, what areas of guilt and shame am I/are you still holding onto?
I want to remind you today that it's *fixable* and through JESUS CHRIST. Ask HIM into your heart and life this very moment. Ask for HIS Forgiveness. Lay it down and let HIM wash you clean...the very reason HE came. 
Sin, shame, guilt and regret will keep you locked in the bondage of hopelessness; hindering all that The LORD is calling you for.
JESUS came so all our sins and *less than moments* are fixable!  Redeemable. Forgivable. HE died specifically for your *not enough*. 

I'm thankful for the reminders that every area I fall short in, The LORD is waiting to Pick me up, Dust me off, Hold me close, Redeem my hurt, Forgiving and Loving me beyond my shortcomings.

"He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my step"~Psalm 40:2

JESUS said...
"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."~John 10:10

Jump on the "Thankful Train" friends, what are you thankful for?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Help Me Do This Right!

Today I prayed, "LORD, help me do this right. What do YOU want me to do today?" Then a short time later, my prayer was answered. My sister Stacy came to mind. I knew I needed to head out to Glendora to see her. I picked her up for a late lunch. While sitting on the patio talking, she shared a couple of stories with me. 

She had to get an MRI yesterday. While nervously waiting, she noticed an older lady on a gurney waiting to be wheeled in. My sister walked up to her to see if she was okay. Then she said, "You don't know me, but can I pray for you?" The lady looked at her and shook her head yes. They held hands & prayed together in the waiting room. The lady's eyes teared up as she graciously thanked her.
My sis told me she was really nervous to do it but couldn't shake the feeling that she needed to. 

After she left, she was starving and called in an order to a fast food restaurant. When she arrived there was an extra long line of people and her order wasn't ready. She started to get irritated. Then the employee, in his haste and stress, accidentally placed her food in the couple's bag in front of her. The couple left. He quickly realized what he did, frazzled and nervous he said, "I messed up!" He ran outside to chase after them. He hurried in and gave her the food. She mumbled a few words, irritated, but trying to hold back her frustration.

Once she got to her car, she had a strong feeling she should go back in & apologize for being so short with him. So she did! She said, "I'm sorry I wasn't very nice. You have a lot going on right now. I want you to know you're doing a great job." He got tears in his eyes and shook her hand thanking her. 

I'm sure it not only made a difference to him but also everyone else in line who witnessed her apology and may have been getting angry also. What a difference listening to The LORD'S promptings made!

I'm thankful for my sis and her wonderful reminders to be a Blessing wherever you are. 

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord"~Rom12:10-11

Jump on the "Thankful Train" what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Long Trip To Humble-Town

LORD, I am nothing without YOU. My pride says, "I need to handle this alone." My *self-focus* tends to rush in and take over. But LORD, YOU continually show me that as I humbly seek YOU in the face of adversity, YOU lift me up. YOU lift my family up. YOU lift my friends up. Prayers answered time and again. LORD, please help me walk this path to a continual *humble* heart and spirit. My sufficiency is in YOU. JESUS, YOU are my Provider, Healer, *Savior*. Whom or what shall I fear? I have no reason to raise myself up...for "YOU, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head."~Psalm 3:3

*Join me on my daily journey to reach *Humble*-town, a difficult place to find in this prideful world we live in.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Her Words Cut To My Core!

I'm thankful for a visit today with my beautiful sis in CHRIST, who is in a fight for her life. As we sat and talked, she shared a story about people giving less than their best. She stopped mid-sentence, tears welling up, her face softening, a gentle smile filling the room, as she said, "If they could see CHRIST the way I see HIM, they would do more." 

Oh how this statement of truth cut me to the very core, piercing right through. Her daily struggles and battles should be debilitating in their very nature, but this amazing warrior for JESUS continues to do HIS Work. She depends on HIM every moment of the day. 

Friends, there's work to be done. 
So I have to ask myself, "What's holding me back from doing the very things The LORD'S putting on my heart?" 
I ask you, "What's holding you back?"
GOD has given you specific gifts and talents. Join me in seeing JESUS in a clearer light. Bigger than fear. Larger than limitations. Pray to push past the doubts, seeing CHRIST as your *Complete Sufficiency* can do more!

"For with God nothing will be impossible.”~Luke 1:37

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let's Be More Like Annie!

Her hair was short, blonde and disheveled. Her face wore the marks of difficulties. Her cane bore the weight of a limp. Her entire life belongings stuffed into two baskets. A large, long, waterproof Edison jacket shielded the wind from her frail body. 

As I passed her I told her I liked her jacket (being an Edison fan and allπŸ˜‰). She turned to look at me, smiling as she said, "Thank you! A kind woman took it off her back on a rainy day and gave it to me."
"Wow! So you were Blessed," I replied. 
"Yes I was, but they will be Blessed also for their kindness!" she exclaimed with a knowing nod, her eyes squinting as her smile broadened. 
I asked if I could buy her lunch. 
"Oh no, someone just fed me and I'm full. But thank you!"
"So GOD is making sure your needs are met?" I asked.
"Yes HE is!" She assured me.
"Can I pray for you? I love to pray for people, what's your name?" I asked.
"Well Annie, what do you specifically need prayer for?"
Her brows furrowed closer together in deep thought. 
"How about your leg? Can I pray for healing for that? I suggested.
"Oh yes! I was hit by a car and shattered my pelvis and hip. I also have arthritis in my knee and ankle on the same side," she said.
As we said our goodbye's I told her I'd continue to pray for her. 
"Have a good day Annie," I said, smiling and waving as I headed to my car.
"You too," she said waving back. 
As I reached my car she yelled, "Have a *Blessed* day!" Her eyes but small straight lines as her smile overtook her entire face as she emphasized *Blessed*.

And since my "Thankful Train" doesn't have a limit on how many things one can be thankful for...I'm thankful for Annie and her reminder of Blessings in the midst of struggle. She notices and is grateful for each and every daily kindness. 
Let's notice friends. Let's see things more through Annie's eyes. 

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."~Galatians 6:9

Sunday, March 27, 2016

HE is Risen!

HE is Risen! 
"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."~Matthew 28:6

On this day, Resurrection Day, I'm reminded of the gift of The Hope and Glory that JESUS CHRIST has given. A gift so insurmountable. New life. Eternal life for all who believe in and on HIM. Holy, Mighty and Powerful is HIS Name. The Name above all Names, JESUS CHRIST. "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name"~Philippians 2:9

HE is Risen! I am forever thankful.

Friends, let's not forget the true reason we Celebrate this day. Don't take HIS Gift of New Resurrected Life, Eternal Life for granted. Don't let another day go by without asking HIM into or back into your heart and life. 

Climb aboard the "Thankful Train"...let's join in thanking JESUS together today!