I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Why's & the How's

Good Morning Friends,
I hope you're all doing well today and getting excited about this weekend. Easter is one of my most favorite holidays. As a kid we would get dressed up in our absolute Sunday best and go to church. Then immediately after the last "Amen" was said we would drive to my Grandmother's house (we called her Nita MeMe - I miss her so) and join the rest of my Mother's siblings and all my cousins for a great big Easter lunch. Of course the grownups would hide eggs for all of us kids and actually did so long after we were of the egg-finding age. Nita MeMe had a great big yard (or at least it seemed that way to me so many years ago) and we pretty much stayed outside the entire afternoon! She also had a fig tree which I remember climbing and eating way to may figs one year. Ahhhh... memories! I'm hoping that year after year I'm helping to create some wonderful Easter memories for my children.

I'm not sure why - but lately Sunday mornings seem to be the time my children like to ask really bazaar questions! Now, usually this is the time that I like to have quiet time in the car listening to (as we like to call it) "Jesus music" - so I can begin to get my heart, mind, and spirit prepared for all that God has planned for church that day. However, lately - this has become a time of really interesting questions. Having a 5 & 3 year old, questions are an ever-present thing, and I've noticed something interesting about them.... JP (being 3) asks "WHY QUESTIONS" and Jordan (being 5) asks "HOW QUESTIONS".

I love how inquisitive my children are - but sometimes the timing of these questions is less than desired. But today I read something in Proverbs that I know will help me in the days of questions to come.

Proverbs 31:26 (ESV)
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Okay, first - usually I read my One Year Bible for my devotional time. If I'm left wanting more from God's Word, I read Proverbs. Did you know that there are 31 chapters in Proverbs? So, if you're not sure what to read on any particular day - turn to the chapter number of that current day. So today, I turned to Proverbs 31. And I almost didn't do it today! I know what Proverbs 31 is all about - and frankly I thought, "I"m just not up for it today". Proverbs 31 is about a woman who fears the Lord. She has some very high standards and I just wasn't sure if I was up for the challenge.

But then I read verse 26 - "she opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." As I read this I thought about the never ending questions of my kids. Jordan's question on Sunday morning was all about cars!! It started out with how does gas get into that little door on the side of the car - and then several "how" questions later we're talking about "how" a motor works! Arg! Most of the time I have the wisdom to answer their "why & how" questions. But this particular one I had to refer to Daddy! I wonder if God ever gets tired of our "why" and "how" questions?! Do you ever bug God with things like this, "Why did that have to happen?!" - "How do You expect me to handle this one?!" - and so many others. I can honestly say that God has shown me WAY MORE kindness than I deserved when I questioned His actions. Therefore, I should certainly show kindness to the questions of those around me.

I may not always be able to respond with wisdom (ie., knowing how a motor works) - but I know that I can always teach kindness by how I respond. And not just to my kids - but to everyone I encounter! Do you have a coworker that finds that one last nerve that is frazzled already and steps on it? Or a family member that seems to ask inappropriate questions of you all the time? Take the advice of King Lemuel's Mom, and when you open your mouth - pour out wisdom. And if that is not possible - pour out kindness. I think most of the time we remember how people said things rather than what they said anyway. I'm remembering a scene from "3 Men and a Baby" where Tom Selleck is reading a car magazine to the baby in a very sing-song type of voice. Bottom line: be nice! We can discipline, correct, educate, and especially love with a kind word.

This Easter, thank God for His answers to "Why did He have to die?" - and - "How can I respond to His death & resurrection this Easter?" And as we follow the path of Christ from Thursday's arrest to Sunday's resurrection - let's make a point to gain wisdom and speak kindly to those around us!

I love you all dearly!
Your sis in the faith,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What a night!!!

The Fabulous Friendship Dinner was truly amazing!!! We had 13 beautifully decorated tables! I've listed them here - just to celebrate my friends just a little more....

Boutique Buddies - by Sarah Newell
"Can I borrow your lipstick?" - by Sarah Newell
Parade of Friends - by Cinnamon Tucker
Pilialoha - Ina Kazarian
Picture Perfect Friends (X3) - Peggy Morgan
Fun Friendly Fancy Feet - Jeanette Neeley
Silver Lining Friendships - Penny Franklin
Tejas Means Friendship - Penny Franklin
Easy Breezy - Angel Baudier
Friendships in Bloom - Tiffany Morgan & Ellie Seals
Celebrate! - Kathy Bodenheimer & Sandra Scardino

Sarah & her seminary friends did a FABULOUS job with our entertainment! I sang "Blue Skies" in my head all day on Monday! Y'all totally rocked on that song!!!

We had 93 ladies in attendance! I thank you all for making the night so special. So many of you did so many wonderfully special things to make our guests feel welcomed and honored. I also learned a lot of things that will make next year's friendship dinner even better! I'm already looking down the road to Friendship Dinner 2011!!! Let me know if you want to host a table again next year!

I also am totally thrilled at all the new friends that I made! If I didn't get to visit with you - please send me a friend request on Facebook!

In the mean time... don't forget the 5 secrets of being a Fabulous Friend - celebrate your friend, be there for your friend, be a safe place for your friends, welcome learning & laughter, and finally be flexible!

I love you all dearly!
Your sister in the faith!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fabulous Friendship Dinner

I'm so excited I can hardly see straight! The final touches are being added to the Fabulous Friendship Dinner. What's a "Fabulous Friendship Dinner" you ask?

This is a wonderful dinner for ladies! We have "table hostesses" who have prepared a themed tabled and decorated it to the 9's. Each hostess is responsible not only all the trimmings of her table - but also for filling her table with guests. We started with 5 tables - and now are up to 10!!!

Think all that sounds fun - just wait... there's more!

La Bella's is catering the food and the desserts will be provided by our very own Journey Ladies! Coffee is being donated by CC's Coffee!

Just wait... there's more!

The entire Journey Staff has been working on getting prizes for the best decorated tables and even some door prizes. And this is what I'm super super excited about... and yet I must keep it a secret! We have some AWESOME prizes for the ladies that attend! We have table hostess prizes, we have door prizes, and we even have a nice gift for EVERY lady in attendance!

I can hardly wait! I'm so excited about the new found prizes that I'm just about to bust!!!

Just wait there's more...

Sarah Newell and her friends will be providing wonderful music and I will be leading a devotional on the 5 Secrets of Being A Fabulous Friend. Oh yeah... we will even have a professional photographer there to record this wonderful night!

So - if you know of a friend that needs a night of fun and encouragement - send them to Journey Christian Church in New Orleans and we'll treat them right!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Your sister in the faith!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Treasure instead of Trash

This morning I read a very familiar passage from Luke chapter 2. Jesus was about 12 years old and the family traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. At the conclusion of the Feast Joseph & Mary started for home, thinking that Jesus was with them. They got about a day's worth of walking away from Jerusalem before they realized that Jesus was not with them. They turned around to go in search for him and after 3 days of looking (I would be frantic by this time!) they found Him in the Temple.

Of course, like any Mother would do, she asked Jesus why He had treated them like this! We are all very familiar with Jesus' response - but this morning what caught my eye and my heart was what Mary did after it was all over. Jesus asked His parents why they were looking for Him. He reminds them that He must be in His Father's house. He then very obediently goes home with them. Mary then treasured all these things in her heart.

What?! Treasured these things in her heart? I probably would have been nagging and complaining and letting my son know every detail of how worried we were and what those 4 days prior to finding him were like for us!!! Mary simply asks one question and then treasures the rest in her heart. Now I know that probably most of the "treasuring" was about how her Son was the Son of God - no doubt very worthy of treasuring. But Mary was still very much human - and probably realistically wanted to vent her emotions about what she was feeling.

There is a key lesson from Mary (for Mothers) this morning... We should treasure in our hearts more than trash with our mouths. Once we guide and discipline our children and they comply and submit to obedience - treasure the rest of our thoughts and emotions in our hearts.

Today: treasure instead of trash - and see how God blesses your life as a result!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fringe Band-Aids

I love a good run in the morning! It allows me to have quiet time by myself, and also a chance to work out my thoughts and plans for the day. However, sometimes when I get back, I'm ready to share them with my husband who, may or may not be ready for the barrage that I unload on him. I'm thankful that he is so patient with me in those times! This morning, I've identified where the possible bumps will be in our day and have prayed over them. Remember that you too can let the Lord know where you see places that you're going to need an extra measure of grace and well... help. Be confident that He will indeed come through for you!

Remember the days when a band-aid could fix anything! My kids love band-aids! Especially now that there are all kinds of character band-aids. Where were these when I was growing up? However, as with most kids under the age of 5, made up boo-boos arise, just so they can get a Barbie or a Diego Band-Aid. I find myself putting band-aids in the strangest places - just to see tears turn into smiles. As I was reading my One Year Bible last week, I came across a verse that reminded me of my kids & their band-aids. I wrote about it in my journal and thought about it and applied to my daily ups & downs and realized it was working too well not to pass it on to you. I hope it helps to make your tears turn to smiles too!

Now, I must warn you - this devotional is going to combine 2 verses - one from the New Testament and one from Psalms. I just love how cohesive God's Word is, that we can combine verses that were written 100's of years apart and bring them together to give us hope in 2010!

Mark 6:56 (ESV)
And wherever He came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and implored Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment.
And as many as touched it were made well.

This verse describes Jesus going into various places doing the work of His Father - healing, teaching, and saving. I think most of the time when we get a picture of Jesus "healing the sick" we think of Him actually touching the people - laying hands on them - even saying "you are healed". However, here we get a completely different image of His healing power. As I read this I pictured his tunic that He probably wore and how the ends were probably frayed a bit from walking from city to city. It might even be a bit dirty. However, Mark tells us here that "as many as touched" the fringe of His garment were made well. So many of us are not making up reasons for a band-aid - but in fact are dealing with some pretty serious places of sickness. Perhaps it's a health issue that needs healing, or maybe it's something else like debt & finances, issues at your job, parenting, marriage, and so many other places that are in need of real healing. Did you know that we can be healed from all of these just from the "fringe" of His garment. How do we touch something that has long been dust - His garment? I believe it has to do with faith. I believe and have faith that even though I can't physically touch the fringe of His garment today, in the marketplace - that it still has the power to heal even me - even my sickness of the moment.

I wrote all this in my journal and continued reading. I truly believe that God was not done showing me and teaching me on this particular morning. For shortly after I finished writing this down, I read this verse from Psalms.

Psalm 40:3 (ESV)
He put a new song in my mouth. A song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

I wrote in my journal that in spite of needing a band-aid for my present aches and pains... I wanted to be able to say this verse and really mean it! I want to have a new song in my mouth and not complain or worry or fret or wring my hands or get defeated by my current sickness that desperately needs some fringe healing.

JP really thinks a band-aid will fix anything. He loves to try new foods - even spicy foods! And most of the times he likes them - that crazy boy! However, the other day, he ate something he didn't like. He started crying about how it hurt. I asked him where it hurt and he said, "In my mouth!" I told him to drink some water. No, that was not good enough. He started crying, saying he needed a band-aid "in his mouth". (He opened his mouth really wide as he said this - trying to show me the place that hurt) I laughed in the moment - trying to describe how band-aids don't work in the mouth. But as I read both of these scriptures - I realized that JP's not too far off the mark. According to the Psalmist, the Lord can put a new song in our mouths! And this new song, along with seeing, fearing and trusting the Lord has amazing power over our sicknesses! I can speak scripture over my day. I can believe His Word and know that what comes out of my mouth to my children, my husband and those around me can have a healing affect. So on this day, I asked the Lord to put His fringe-healing-song... in my mouth!

I know it sounds a little funny - but you know what? It worked and it's continuing to work! God's Word is not stale! It is powerful and relevant. Do you need a band-aid today? Do you need a band-aid where perhaps one won't fit or even come close to covering? Believe in His fringe healing power and let Him put a new song in your mouth. I believe that if we all do this, we just might see some amazing healing take place in the world around us! We'll see tears turn to smiles just from the fringe!

I love you all dearly!
Your sister in the faith,