Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hold On

Recently, the Hubs and I were out on 'Date Night'.

(Dear Date Night-I love you)

When a family of 4 was seated next to us at the restaurant we were dining at.

One of the two children was approximately 2 years old. And.Not.Happy.

At. ALL.

The poor parents were trying all the could to calm her, but it wasn't happening.

Dad ended up zoning out, while Momma broke out in a cold sweat and kept trying.

Finally the waitress brought her chocolate milk and that helped for awhile.

I desperately wanted to go hug that sweet Momma, but I was afraid I'd make her cry or embarrass her in front of the other dinners.

What I really wanted to tell her was HOLD ON-it gets better-I PROMISE!

Maybe you're finding yourself in a situation like that during these dog days of summer.

Kids fussing.

Heat is rising.

Bills are coming in.

Husband is cranky.

Car won't start.

And those are just the minor things (although if you're going through them they don't feel minor)

In the past month I've had friends lose their Mother so unexpectedly, another  friends child end up in the ICU.
Another lose their job.

Sometimes life is overwhelming.
Whether is because your two year is throwing a fit in a restaurant or your husband said he doesn't love you anymore.

Can I encourage you to Hold On?

I promise it does get better.

Someday, while it might not all make sense, it does get better.

And while everything feels like it's spinning out of control and like that Momma  you're breaking out in a cold sweat and trying not to cry-HOLD ON.

I love these verses from Philippians 3 and I pray they'll encourage you too.

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
 15-16So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. (The Message)

Hold on. Let's keep our eyes on the prize-Jesus Christ!  

Someday our race will be finished. Until then let's run it well !

Hold on, Friend, it does get better.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Making Plans. . .

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by a well known Pastor/Author and was surprised about what I read.

The just of the post was basically that while God created you and loves you He doesn't have a set purpose or plan for your life.

That God was too loving to be a 'controlling father' that cares about what you wear and what you eat  and so on. You needn't consult Him on such matters.

And while NO I don't think you need to seek God's council every morning as you stand in front of your closet thinking that perhaps if you chose the wrong outfit somehow you're out of the 'will of God', I do
think it's reckless to say God doesn't have a plan for your life.

Because, you Sweet Friend are worth more to God than that.

In Psalms 139 it says that we were knit (woven, created) in  our mother's womb, that not only does he know every hair on our head, he also UNDERSTANDS us.

I don't know about you, but someone who can know me, understand me and love me is one of the most beautiful gifts to be given.

So, you'll never be able to convince me that the same God who formed me, doesn't have a bigger plan for my life. That once we're born we are on our own to figure out our 'bigger purpose'.

Now, there are been more times than I care to admit that what God plans were and what mine were did not match and sadly I picked my way.

But, I know for certain He has a plan and no mere man (or crazy woman) can stop what He wants to accomplish.

No, we aren't mindless robots.

We have choices to make, counsel to seek.
God's Word even has something to say about how to do that (read Proverbs).

Rest assured if you're convinced you're so off the beaten path He could never find you-that instead He knows RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE and He will pull you up out of whatever ditch you find yourself in.

I can also promise you this, we are not hurling through space on some rock with no direction or plan.

God knows you, He loves you and He has a specific plan JUST FOR YOU.

You are that important.

Keep following the light,
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Fun

I've got a fun give away going on at my Facebook page.

(Feel free to check it out, it's the very tricky name of Lessons From Aisle 12)

So, I thought I would do one here as well!

I'll be giving away a $15 iTunes card on Friday.

All you have do is leave a comment to enter.

Oh, and you can enter here and on the Facebook page.
Maybe you'll win both!

One one comment per entry though -K?

Thanks for all your support!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Packing and Re Packing

Between camps, weekends at my folks and our week long camping trip, I feel like my summer could be
defined by packing and then re packing.

It's so tiresome.
And messy.
And time consuming.

Although, I grew up in 'the city', my childhood has a very small town quality to it because of the church and Christian school I went to.
We all grew up together, our parents all knew each other.
You couldn't get away with a thing, because someone would see you and you'd better believe they would tell your folks.
We are all grown up now, and most of us have left that particular church,
but now with the fun of Facebook, we are all able to stay in touch.

Last week, because of a tragedy, we were all in close contact once again.
Which in so many ways is a good thing.

A beautiful thing.

But, for many of us associated with the type of upbringing we had, there is some serious baggage associated with it as well.

And, bags I'd 'unpacked' years ago, were suddenly full again.

When bags are full-they are heavy.

There comes a point in all of our lives(-because no matter where/how we grew up, we've got some baggage-)we got to unpack the bags.

It's hard to function in life carrying around all the 'stuff' we pack around.

And I don't know about you, but I want to do more than merely function. . .

I want to thrive.

I want to serve.

I want to live fully present in the here and now.

And packing around all the 'bags' makes that nearly impossible.

And all those people who filled our bags with garbage,  are not affected in the lest by our still carrying them around.
The only people it affects is us and the ones we love and the ones we are trying to serve.

Many of you reading this have been dragging around your bags for years, and things that happened to you in childhood are determining your choices today.


And countless other things that were filled in our bags before we had control over what went in to them. . .

But, here is the thing, we might not have been responsible for packing our bags, but we are responsible for unpacking them.

It's time.

Haven't we been carrying them around long enough?
Aren't they heavy?

Let's commit together to unpacking them once and for all.

Praying for you today,
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Losing My Dignity

We've just returned from a week long family camping trip.

Know what that means??


So, while the washer and dryer do their jobs (and could some one PLEASE invent a folding machine?!)

I thought I would share with you a story from this past week that just hit me smack dab over the head and hasn't left me yet-I pray it never does.

While on our journey, we were at an amusement park.

Filled with lots of fun things to do and also filled with lots of people.

Going through one especially crowded area, I felt the Princess's hand slip out of mine and for a brief few moments (that felt like an eternity) I lost track of her.

Not caring the least bit about any kind of dignity, I began yelling her name, not caring who looked my way.

And in what I'm sure was less than 30 seconds I found her. (It is amazing how time seems to stand still still when you can't find one of your kids)

But, that indescribable feeling-that ever parent who's ever taken their child anywhere and lost sight of them-stuck with me for the rest of the day.
And the thoughts that followed for, what I pray is a lifetime.

See what I couldn't shake was the picture in my mind of how God lowered himself and didn't care about any pretense of dignity, to come and find me.

He did that in the manger, He did that on the cross.

And amazingly still calls my name when I begin wandering away from Him.

When my hand slips from His and I'm drawn away  by what I see that looks more attractive than the safety of His side.

He never pretends like He doesn't care.
Never acts as if it goes unnoticed.

Never, not once in my entire life.

And, I bet if you stop and think about it you would agree it is the same for you.

Maybe we wonder so far away we can no longer hear Him calling us.
But, just like any good parent, He never gives up on finding us-calling us-yelling our names.

And just like I threw my arms around my girl when she waved and said "Here I am Momma", He'll do the same for us.

He's calling you today.
Let's stay right by His side so we don't get lost.

Keep walking in the light,
Monday, July 9, 2012

The Face of the Forgiven

Yesterday, one of the kiddos- who well let's just say doesn't get into as much trouble as perhaps some other members of the family, got sent to the 'naughty step' for something she did to one of her big brothers.

There were tears. Lots. of. tears.

And, there were "I'm sorry"'s.

And hugs, lots of hugs.

But, before all that, there was anger.

Lots. of. anger.

She was M A D!

And while she is typically easy going, she was so aggravated yesterday and wanted everyone in the family to know it-especially the brothers.

So, after her 5 minutes on the stair, we went to her room to talk about what went wrong.

By this time she is sobbing, heartbroken about what she had done wrong.
(Thankfully, she is easy to correct)

Red faced, snot everywhere, gulping air between tears. . . .my beautiful girl was a mess.

We talked about why she was in time out, why what she did was wrong and who she needed to apologize too. (Brother, and Jesus)

She gave Brother a hug and asked for forgiveness, then we prayed together where she poured her six year little heart out to her Savior.

As soon as she was done, she collapsed in a snot covered hug onto my shoulder.
Literally, threw herself into my arms.

And, of course, I let her.

She was truly sorry.  And desperate to know all was well with her an mommy.

Of course, I didn't stop and clean her up before I loved on her.

As I sat there holding this precious, tenderhearted, repentant gift of a daughter, I was reminded of how much God loves me.

Loves each one of us.

We can come to him covered in the most vilest of things, pour our hearts out and collapse in His righteous arms.

He never asks us to clean ourselves up first.

He always tells to come to Him first.

He'll take care of the clean up later, just like I wiped my girls face and wiped away all the ugly her sin had produced, He'll do that for us.

We don't have to do it ourselves.

We can't do it ourselves.

You'll never be whole enough, clean enough, on your own.

And He's not asking you to be.

Take your broken, filth covered self and collapse in His arms.

He won't say No.

Just like a parent, He's waiting to hold you.

To show you He loves you.

To wipe away your tears and clean you off.

To love on you.

Whatever it is, you can bring it to Him.

And just like my girl, you can have the face of the forgiven.

I'm praying for you today,
Saturday, July 7, 2012

Psalm 25

For every Sweet Sister who has emailed me and poured their heart out about; marriage, finances, kids and every other manner of hurt-I pray this encourages you.

I don't usually use The Message translation, but in the case it seems appropriate -as if a friend was talking to a friend.
Did you know that the Bible calls us "friends of God".

Go ahead Sister (or Brother ;) )  pour your heart out to him!

Know that I'm praying for you!

My head is high, God, held high; I'm looking to you, God; 
   No hangdog skulking for me. 

 3 I've thrown in my lot with you; 
   You won't embarrass me, will you? 
   Or let my enemies get the best of me?
   Don't embarrass any of us
   Who went out on a limb for you.
   It's the traitors who should be humiliated.

 4 Show me how you work, God;
   School me in your ways.

 5 Take me by the hand;
   Lead me down the path of truth.
   You are my Savior, aren't you?

 6 Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, God;
   Rebuild the ancient landmarks!

 7 Forget that I sowed wild oats;
   Mark me with your sign of love.
   Plan only the best for me, God!

 8 God is fair and just;
   He corrects the misdirected,
   Sends them in the right direction.

 9 He gives the rejects his hand,
   And leads them step-by-step.

 10 From now on every road you travel
   Will take you to God.
   Follow the Covenant signs;
   Read the charted directions.

 11 Keep up your reputation, God;
   Forgive my bad life;
   It's been a very bad life.

 12 My question: What are God-worshipers like?
   Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye.

 13 They settle down in a promising place;
   Their kids inherit a prosperous farm.

 14 God-friendship is for God-worshipers;
   They are the ones he confides in.

 15 If I keep my eyes on God,
   I won't trip over my own feet.

 16 Look at me and help me!
   I'm all alone and in big trouble.

 17 My heart and kidneys are fighting each other;
   Call a truce to this civil war.

 18 Take a hard look at my life of hard labor,
   Then lift this ton of sin.

 19 Do you see how many people
   Have it in for me?
   How viciously they hate me?

 20 Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble;
   Don't let me down when I run to you.

 21 Use all your skill to put me together;
   I wait to see your finished product.

 22 God, give your people a break
   From this run of bad luck.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

For my Darling Girl

My Dearest Belle,

It's summer time and you're a beautiful six years old.

Except for your aversion to fruit, we mostly agree on things.

We both like the same clothes for you to wear.

But, I'm not naive enough  to think this will last forever.

Nor am I naive enough to think  that I might never  give in to those big brown eyes of yours.

But, don't you be naive enough to think that even though it's hard sometimes, we'll let you wear whatever you want.

Modesty matters.

Now when mommy was growing up, she got told this all the time, but somewhere along the way it got twisted and turned into some legalistic nightmare that ended up with  polyester culottes and a generation of girls thinking their bodies where something to be ashamed of.
And precious girl, I NEVER want that for you!

But, what you wear DOES indeed matter.

So, no, Daddy and I won't let you wear shorts that barely cover your bottom,  the dress that looks like a 26 year should be wearing it instead of little girl, yeah , no on that too.

But, yes to the cute little trendy outfit.

Modesty never means frumpy!

Let's go to the mall and shop away-

But, here's the reason why we'll no to that stuff-


You my darling girl, are worth so much more than displaying every precious thing God gave you for everyone to see.

Because, make no doubt when you wear shorts that cup your bottom and barely cover the thing, you are
telling the world you don't think you're worth anything but that.. . .and see here's the tricky part-you might not
even know that's what you're saying, but that's why God gave you us!

One of my prayers for you, is that you'll be a needle in a haystack kind of girl.

What I mean by that,  is that you are kind of girl that has to be searched for.

Dug deep for.

Because, you're worth that (and so much more).

To be modest because God created a beautiful you as a treasure to be guarded, not paraded around on display for everyone who walks by to get a look.

Because you are more than your body-you're smart, kind, funny, gifted.

Can I be frank, it's hard to see those gifts when all you first notice is booty's and breasts.

So, yes we may fight about this someday.

But, you know what, Darling one?

You are so worth the fight!



**If you're reading this and think you've already lost the battle with your girl- remember the war isn't over yet!

Keep pressing on,