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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Didn't I just blink?

"It feels like it was yesterday" - isn't this what they all say when it seems like time has passed all too quickly?

Or what about this one... "It seems as if I just blinked"?

I said this to a dear friend just this week and he said, "No, you've had quite a few blinks since that day."

He's so right!  I could spend this blog writing about the things that have happened since December 30, 2010 - but you would get bored reading it all.  Because in true John Franklin form he would want to hear about each and every haircut.  He would want to know the details about how I felt when I took my certification test.

He would want to know the facial expression on everyone's face for every big and small event that has transpired.  So what do I write about?

How do I honor a man that meant the world to me?  How do I celebrate the one who was the best at celebrating... without him?

You'll find 3 things in this blog post.  Feel free to skip around and only read or watch the things you want.  Here you will find:
1.  The things I love most about John

2.  The verses that have gotten me through this first year

3.  A video that was shown at his "Special Service" 
where you can hear him sing and the kids laugh and talk with their Daddy.

Here are some things that I love most about my hero - John Franklin

1.  Friday night date night - he never missed it!  Even if it meant hot wings at home with a movie we'd seen before - we put the kids to bed, and pretended our living room was a romantic place set just for us.

2.  Friday mornings with the family.  His day off from the office was Friday.  During the summer we would all load up for a fun family day - which usually meant Chick-fil-A for breakfast, then driving around New Orleans exploring!

3.  His amazing active love for his kiddos.  Every day he loved for his kids to use him as a human jungle gym.

4.  Everything was special to John.  He saved every little note not only from me but even pieces of paper that had scratches on it from his children.

But most of all I loved this about him...

5.  His intimate relationship and love for Jesus Christ!  Nothing was more important to him than seeing people come to know Jesus as he knew Him.  This was the glue for every relationship he had!!

Now what?  These are some pretty amazing things.  How do I put one foot in front of the other without these in my everyday life.

The verses that gave gotten me through this first year
since his move to Heaven (basically a walk through my journal):

1.  Isaiah 57:1-2 - "The righteous man perishes and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands.  For the righteous man is taken away from evil, he enters into peace"

2.  Psalm 40:17 - "As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought of me.  You are my Help, and my Deliverer, do not delay, O my God!"

3.  Psalm 40:3 - "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."

4.  Psalm 31:24 - "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait on the Lord!"

5.  Psalm 18:6 - "In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.  From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ear."

6.  Proverbs 4:12-13 - "When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.  Keep hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life."

I could go on and on here - this was just from about 3 pages from my journal.  The message here is God's Word - daily, and your prayers - daily, have held me up!  I will continue to live like this no matter what comes my way.

Now, instead of a regular Friday song and video - 

I give you a very brief glimpse of the life of John Franklin...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After Christmas... now what?

I'm posting my Friday song a day early this week.  Tomorrow is more than just a "Friday" - tomorrow will be my husband's One Year Anniversary in Heaven.  I'll be writing something special to honor him - so I'm posting my weekly song today.

Yesterday my Mom & I cleaned the house.  She tackled the Christmas decorations while I took on the kids' room and the bathroom!  We both agreed that each year we love pulling out the decorations and talking about the memories behind them all.

However, we're equally as glad to put them in their special boxes and send them back to their happy home in the attic once Christmas is over.  I'm waking up this morning with an "Ahhhh!!!!" feeling seeing all the furniture put back in its normal place.

I heard a song this past week that I totally fell in love with it and wanted to share it with you today.  There is one very important aspect of Christmas we don't ever need to pack away.  The Light that is Christmas is to be decorated in our homes and in our lives every day!

Let's not forget that as we move further and further away from December 25th.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leavin' Heaven

Yay!  It's Christmas Eve Eve!  

John & I loved celebrating!  We celebrated almost everything - it didn't matter how small or big - we celebrated life together!

So on this day, we enjoyed doing something special.  We woke up with bright eyes like our children and said, "Merry Christmas Eve Eve" to one another before we even got out of the bed.  Silly?  Perhaps.

I'm so excited that today a very special family is taking me to Houston to hear the Trans Siberian Orchestra!  I know it's going to be a treat I'll remember for a very long time.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve!

Obviously I've been thinking about Heaven a lot lately.  John's first Christmas in his new Home.  I know there's no "Christmas" as we know it in Heaven - but it helps me to know that he's "celebrating" in the best place possible.

I heard this song this week and it made me smile.  I'm so glad that Jesus loved me so much that He left such a perfect place to come and give me hope!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

His Word Sunday

Yet I will rejoice!

I know I should probably write something about Christmas today - but this is what the Lord showed me this morning.... so I'm passing it on to you.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)
Though the fig tree should not blossom, 
nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail 
and the fields yield no food, 
the flock be cut off from the fold 
and there be no herd in the stalls;

yet I will rejoice in the Lord; 
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord is my strength; 
He makes my feet like the deer's, 
He makes me tread on my high places.

So... let me get this straight...
Even though there is no food, medicine (from the olive plant), income (from the sell of produce & livestock), or clothing (from the livestock) - I am to rejoice in the Lord.

Even though I may not have all the comforts of my life around me - those things that I believe will give me security and ease - I am to find my joy in the Lord.  I am to rejoice in the midst of this?  Yes!

Today I have been reminded that no matter what troubles are around me - He makes me strong enough to climb rocks like the deer - and for this I am to find joy!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Only Way

Yay!!!  I'm really looking forward to today!  I have fun treats for my students - stuff to eat, a movie in class and I'm even going to read them a bedtime story!  I know... I can be dorky sometimes.

This past week me and the kids were talking about how our Christmas was going to be different this year.  I wanted to check on their little hearts and make sure they were REALLY doing ok.  We talked about how Daddy is spending his first Christmas in Heaven.  I basically wanted to see if they felt like Christmas was ruined this year because of our tragedy.

Then Jordan said the most amazing thing!  She said,

"Mommy, the only way Christmas could ever be ruined 
is if Jesus had never come to us in the first place."

Did you hear what was in the middle of what she said - the only Way.  Jesus is the only Way for us to have hope!

I love my kids!  JP wanted to get his two cents in as well, so he added,

"Yeah, Christmas is about Jesus!"

I love their resilience and strength in the Lord - even at such a young age!

That's why I love this song for today!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

His Word Sunday

The other day I was craving something sweet.  I've been a diet lately and have denied myself so many of these wonderful holiday treats.  But... I remembered my Mom saying she baked some of her famous chocolate chip cookies a couple of days earlier.

The likelihood that there were still some in the cookie jar was slim to none.  But I thought I would check anyway.  Wow!  There were 2 left!

I felt like a little treat had been hidden away just for me at this time.  LOL!

As I was reading my Bible this morning I connected this to something the Lord told John to tell the churches in Revelation.

Revelation 2:17(b)  (ESV)
To the one who conquers 
I will give some of the hidden manna, 
and I will give him a white stone, 
with a new name written on the stone 
that no one knows except the one who receives it.

One day, the Lord is going to make all things right.  One day I will have a new body and a new name.  I won't have to worry about dieting any more!!

In this verse, He says that if we conquer, if we make it to the end without Satan getting the best of us, then He will give us some hidden, treasured Heavenly food!

When I found that remaining - almost forgotten cookie - my spirits lifted - even if just in the moment.  Just think about that day when the Lord says, "Oh!  I have something wonderful just for you!

Let's go be conquerors for some Heavenly treats!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I need a Silent Night

Ready. Set.  Go go go go!!!

Well, we're in the full swing of all that December brings.  I looked at my calendar for the weekend and the first night that where nothing is scheduled is next Tuesday.


My very first school semester is winding down and I'm already gearing up for the things I want to make better for my next batch of kiddos - who by the way arrive on January 9th.  There are Christmas parties and programs galore and just a little bit more shopping to do.

I wonder if for Christmas I could ask for peace & quiet.  Oh yeah... Christ is Peace.  I'm so glad that He is a  place I can turn to when the world gets a little too busy and a lot too noisy.

People ask me all the time why in the world I get up at 3:45am.  Do you know how quiet it is at that time of day?  It's quite Heavenly!

That's why I love this song!  I hope you enjoy some Peace & quiet this season!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stuffed in a Box?

I've been working on this blog in my head and my heart now for about 2 weeks.  Since Thanksgiving really, and I haven't completely worked it all out - but I decided to go ahead and put fingers to the keyboard and see where the Lord took me.

It's December, and decorations have been placed and arranged.  Everywhere you go people are gearing up and getting excited about Christmas.  Believe it or not, me and the kids are having a nice holiday season so far.

We're doing all the typical things...
decorating our home, reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, singing Christmas songs - and mostly smiling through it all.  It's different - but okay.

However, there has been this nagging question that I haven't really been able to answer.  It seems everywhere I go I hear this age old question...

"So what's your favorite Christmas tradition?"

Hmm... most people answer this question by telling what they do with "things" or "people".

For example:  decorate with ornaments, bake favorite cookies, get together with specific people...

Well - here's where my struggle begins.  All of my "Christmas tradition" is stuffed in a wooded crate where costs prohibits me from acquiring and the "people" we shared those "things" with is likewise unattainable as well!!!

I guess I could just hang on to the memories of...

1.  Reading a different children's Christmas book every night during the month of December
2.  Decorating our entire house for Christmas while watching Elf, or the Charlie Brown Christmas Movie
3.  Going caroling with our church a week before Christmas - and sharing yummy treats and hot chocolate afterwards
4.  Having a beautiful midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve - and watching the kids go to church in their new Christmas pj's.

All the traditions that John & I built together are stuffed in a box, in a town I no longer live in, or all the way up in Heaven!

So the question becomes is 
"tradition" only something you can touch and feel?  

I really don't think so - but if you listen to people answer this question of "What's your favorite Christmas tradition" this is how they answer - with things that are tangible.

If this is the case - I don't get to have tradition this year.  And quite frankly that's just not good enough for me and my children!  No matter what our circumstances are!

Yes, I know what you're thinking.... "I can make NEW Christmas traditions."  Oh goodie!  Then, I've put myself right back to where I started - building something that can be gone at a moment's notice.

I'm sure the more I heal, these feelings will calm down.  I know that as time marches on - I will build new Christmas traditions - in fact, I probably already am - and just don't realize it.  This does actually make me smile.

This year though, I want to truly instill in my children that Christmas really is about Christ.  How He came to give us eternal hope.  How God loved us so much that He wanted us to feel Him right next to us - so He sent His Son to live with us.  He wanted us to know that He truly "gets" us - because His Son became a human.  What an amazing thing - Almighty God with us!  That's some kind of steadfast love!

This is a tradition that can't be stuffed in a box!

This is the kind of thing that my children and myself can take with us no matter where the Lord directs our paths.  I don't know what our future holds.  Where will we be Christmas 2012?  Will the things we did this year get repeated next year and become "tradition"?  Only God knows this answer.

I want to encourage you all to find a way to build a tradition in something that can't be touched with human hands - but can be felt and experienced no matter where you are - no matter what your circumstances and that has lasting - eternal - significance....

IMMANUEL - God with us!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

His Word Sunday

Sunday.  This truly is my favorite day of the week!!

Today's passage is simple.  It is my prayer that everyone would find joy & gladness in what David has written here.

Psalm 122:1, 9 (ESV)
I was glad when they said to me, 
"Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, 
I will seek Your good.

Today - be glad about going to church - and seek His goodness!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beautiful Life

Here we go.... it's December.  I have so many mixed emotions floating around in my head and my heart for the upcoming days.

I'm excited about what this time of year means to my young children.  I'm looking forward to closing out what has so far been the absolute hardest year of my entire life.  I'm extremely sad that I'm not sharing it with the love of my life.

I've written many blogs in my head lately - and yet had no time to put them on the computer.

I still wonder if God will let the sun shine again on my life or will I live in the rain and the clouds forever.

I heard this song this week and found hope.  I know I have some more hard days ahead... but like this song says, "just like the sun, you'll rise to fill the empty skies."

Listen for this one too... it made me smile - "I can't wait for you to hold what I already know."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

His Word Sunday

I want to ask you a quick question this morning...

How do you respond to God when He says, "Yes" - to your prayers?

I think far too often we pray and we pray and when He finally says "Yes" we run with it to the next thing.  Do we really give God the credit and the invested time that He so very much deserves?

Take a look at this awesome prayer that Daniel prayed after God said "Yes" to one of his prayers.  I often wonder how much my life might be enriched if I prayed like this!

Daniel 2:20-23 (ESV)

Daniel answered and said: 
"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, 
to whom belong wisdom and might.  

He changes the times and seasons; 
He removes kings and sets up kings; 
He gives wisdom to the wise and 
knowledge to those who have understanding; 
He reveals deep and hidden things; 
He knows what is in the darkness, 
and the light dwells with Him.

To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, 
for You have given me wisdom and might, 
and have now made known to me what we asked of You, 
for You have made known to us the king's matter."

Monday, November 21, 2011


I love short weeks!  While I wish our school was out all week - I am thankful that we only have to be there today & tomorrow.  We've even got a fun 2-day project planned that will be acceptable for everyone - teachers & students!

Therefore, I only have to plan for 2 professional outfits for this week!  Yay!

You know the downside to clothes?  You have to wash them - regularly!  I am more than thankful that my Mom washes all of our clothes.  She does a FABULOUS job keeping us all in clean clothes.

Don't you just hate it when you've spent all day doing laundry - only to find that some of the clothes came out -  not cleaner than they went in - but stained from some strange source inside the washer?!

Recently we discovered that some of the clothes were coming out of the wash with cute little lined up in a nice row - black dots!  Oh no!  Where was this coming from?!

Stained.  Not a good word.  We had to do two things.  Try to get the stain out - but more importantly establish the source of these little black dots.

I recently read a verse about stains in James.  A kind of spiritual "little black dots."

James 1:26-27 (ESV)
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not 
bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, 
this person's religion is worthless.  
Religion that is pure and 
undefiled before God, the Father, is this:  
to visit orphans and widows, 
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

"Unstained from the world" - how in the world do we do this?!

I feel like each morning I have a wonderful prayer time, and then I step outside my house and am immediately faced with the source of little black dots!  How do I avoid getting stained?!

I'm bombarded with many who do not have positive attitudes, who do not share a love for Christ like me, and I'm tempted to engage in their way of thinking, acting, and living.  I want my faith, my "religion" to get me much farther down the road than just my own house.

This is going to sound strange - but I want my prayer time to stick!  I want it to last throughout the day!  I want to remain unstained from all that comes my way in the washer of my life.

The first part of this verse gives us a hint as to how we can avoid the little black dots - or stains...
1.  watch what I say
2.  do not deceive my heart, and
3.  look after those that may need my help

It begins with my tongue & heart, and ends with my actions!

We found that the little black dots was probably coming from grease leaking out of those little holes in the washer.  It was important that we find the source so we could do more than just get the stains out - we wanted to completely avoid the stains in the future.

Today, I want to remain unstained from the world.  I've learned here that the source of stains can come from my speech and my heart not being set on the things above.  I will have a closer watch on those today.  As a result, I hope to have a cleaner - more pure - example of my relationship with the Lord!  A religion that is not worthless - but one that is pure and undefiled - unstained.

Will you join me in keeping the stains away?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

His Word Sunday

One of my favorite verses talks about how the "Lord is for me."  I think the Lord knows that in general, no matter who we are, we all experience times of insecurity - for there are constant reminders throughout scripture that the Lord not only loves us - but that He's with us!

This morning I totally enjoyed reading this passage.  It reminded me of elementary PE days and how we would have to stand there and wait to be picked.  We would wait anxiously for someone to say, "be on my side!"

In this passage the Lord says that very thing!  I hope you'll be just as encouraged as I was and feel ready for whatever the day may bring knowing He's on your side!

Psalm 118:5-9, 13-18 (ESV)
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; 
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

The Lord is on my side as my helper; 
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in princes.

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, 
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; 
He has become my salvation.

Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous; 
"The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, 
the right hand of the Lord exalts, 
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!"
I shall not die, but I shall live, 
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has disciplined me severely, 
but He has not given me over to death.

Let His valiant hand guide you today!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Every time I breathe

This morning I'm thanking God that I've had a really good week.  It's been super full with very busy schedules.  I think we had something going every night!  But in spite of the crazy schedule, I had many smiles!!

So... today I wanted to do a happy song!

I read a verse on Tuesday that is still with me today... I think about it every time I walk into my classroom.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (ESV)
Strive for peace with everyone, 
and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; 
that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble.

Wow!  This whole passage is wonderful - but the part about seeing that "no one fails to obtain the grace of God" has stuck with me.

Every time I open my mouth, or look someone in the eye - I want them to experience God's grace and not my drama.  I directly come in contact with 70 students and about 25 teachers every day!

100.  I have 100 opportunities every day to show God's grace!  What a thought!

That's why I love this song for today!  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Work Over Time

My students are taking a test tomorrow.  We're now in the Physics part of IPC and while I like physics - chemistry remains the stronger of the two for me.  Therefore I must study extra hard to teach this part of the class.

Last week I wrote a vocabulary work on the board, (as I often do), but the more I wrote it - class after class - I knew the Lord was trying to teach me something that had nothing to do with Physics.

The word is POWER.  The scientific definition of power is the rate at which work is done.  The formula for calculating power is:

Power  =  Work / Time

Most students would read this formula as "work over time".

It's not unusual for me to think of the Lord when I see the word POWER... mainly because I need His power to just get up every day and do life... but as I wrote "work over time" class after class it got me to thinking.

I know I typically only share one verse - but bear with me today - I have a formula, or a calculation of a spiritual kind and it involves a few elements.

Someone asked me recently how I find the strength or the motivation to get up early every day and have my prayer time.  My answer was simple....  I am desperate for the work of the Lord to be in my life.  I am desperate for His hand of favor and I don't want to miss even one small little word of encouragement that He may have for me.

So the first part of this spiritual formula is this - to allow God to work in your life.

Philippians 2:13 (ESV)
For it is God who works in you, 
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

I must be willing to let God work His good pleasure (not always mine) in my life... and I must allow this not just one time, or when I feel like it - but OVER much TIME.

Here lately the Lord has been teaching me a more in-depth understanding of the word "steadfast."

Steadfast means firmly fixed, unwavering, or constant.

Today I read the final part of my spiritual formula.

James 1:2-3 (ESV)
Count it all joy, my brothers, 
when you meet trials of various kinds, 
for you know that the testing of your faith 
produces steadfastness.  
And let steadfastness have its full effect, 
that you may be perfect and complete, 
lacking in nothing.

I want God's POWER in my life.  And in order to have His POWER - I must allow Him to WORK over TIME to bring about His perfect and complete purpose.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

His Word Sunday

Greater Wealth

In my One Year Bible this past week, the Lord has really been teaching me some serious heart lessons from the book of Hebrews.  This morning was no different.  In fact, it's this verse that I will probably be chewing on for a while.

That is to say, I'm not sure I'm 100% there yet and need to sit and work on this one for a while.  It's really the last verse (verse 26) that I want to focus on - but I'm going to give you the two verses before so you'll know and understand the context.

Hebrews 11:24-26 (ESV)
By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, 
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 
choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God 
than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

He considered the reproach of Christ 
greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, 
for he was looking to the reward.

Wow!  The reproach of Christ - or critique or correction from Christ - is considered "greater wealth" than anything this world has to offer.

Can I say that I truly feel this way?  If I did, then think about how much more joy would be in my life.  Each time a trial came my way (which feels like every single day of my life!) then I would realize that my bank is filling up - not that God is out to get me!

His corrections are far better than the pleasures of this world.  Like I said, I'm going to have to chew on this one for a while.  Guess this is what sanctification is all about.

The end of the verse, I think, gives the fuel that makes this kind of thinking possible.  "He was looking to the reward." If we think more about the end goal of the Lord - instead of what we want in the moment - we could possibly see Christ's working in our lives as far greater treasures than anything else!!

What do you think about this verse?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Where I Belong

Happy Veteran's Day!  Before I left school yesterday I cleaned off my white board and prepared for today. I wrote the date: 11-11-11 - how cool!  Then I remembered what this day is for - honoring our Veterans!

So thanks Dad, Paw Paw, Papa Joe, Uncle Sammy, Uncle Gordon, Caleb - and all the many other family & friends who have or are still serving this wonderful nation!!!

As I think about my own life this morning - I wonder how these men felt as they traveled to new & different nations.  I'm sure there was an appreciation for the USA - and probably a little bit of "this is not my home.  I'll serve my time here - and then return to where I belong."

I've often wondered that about my own life.  Where exactly do I belong?  I'm learning a little more every day what God wants me to see & do in this new life.  But the one thing that keeps coming to the surface is - I'm supposed to serve here.  Complete my assignment here - but this too is not my home!

I must say - Heaven is so much sweeter now and I can't wait to go home!  Just give me Jesus!

I heard this song by Building 429 this week and totally fell in love with it!  I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soul-Delivering Assignment

I give assignments almost every day to my students.  Some are pretty simple - fill in the blanks or do a simple physics calculation with the calculator.  Others require more time, like a lab assignment or a research project.

If you've been around me much, or visited this blog - you've probably heard me talk about the "assignment" God has given me.  I'm still trying to figure out all the parts and pieces and what exactly is required of me.  I sure wish God had sent a syllabus to me so I could see all the details of this new project and how it will be graded.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has gotten discouraged with the assignment God has assigned.  I'm certain that we all get dismayed at some point in time or another with our responsibilities.

I've been asking God lately some very personal questions.  Thankfully, He faithfully answers them... I just haven't been too fond of the answers.

Today I read about something the Lord told Ezekiel and through these passages God showed me something that will give me energy to continue on in my own assignment.

God has told Ezekiel that he is to present a warning to the children of Israel - both to the wicked and the righteous.  Check this out...

Ezekiel 7:19 & 21 (ESV)
But if you warn the wicked, 
and he does not turn from his wickedness, 
or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, 
but you will have delivered your soul.

But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, 
and he does not sin, he shall surely live, 
because he took your warning, 
and you will have delivered your soul.

Wow!  This is often how I feel day after day - like I deliver my very soul.  I often wonder will I ever see any results?  Will I ever see how people live after I "deliver my soul"?

I kind of had a little pity party with the Lord when I read this passage.  Telling Him how exhausting it is day after day "delivering my soul" and watching the behaviors, the attitudes and the lack of enthusiasm or effort by my students.

I poured out my heart to the Lord in my journal.  But something interesting happened as I was writing... the Holy Spirit spoke to me and revealed to me that this is EXACTLY what He did as He delivered His very Son.  He delivered His soul - rather His Son - for everyone, and still - daily watches bad behaviors and lack of enthusiasm for the incredible gift He's given us all.

I literally stopped writing when heard this from the Lord.  There's no comparison of eternal life or a daily walk with God Almighty with anything I can do.  Therefore, I can do this assignment He's given me.

But then... I also know I'm not God.  So, even with my little task I know I'm going to need some help.  God quickly led me to this next verse...

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
Let us then with confidence 
draw near to the throne of grace, 
that we may receive mercy and 
find grace to help in time of need.

Mercy & grace... in time of need.  Perfect!

So with the knowledge that God gets how I feel when I've "delivered my very soul" and I can approach Him boldly for His mercy & grace - I'm much better equipped to continue on in my assignment and hopefully on my way to a "Well Done" grade.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

His Word Sunday

God's Awesome Forever-ness!

Don't you just love the "forever-ness" of God?! I was reading in Hebrews this morning about the difference between regular priests and Jesus (as our priest).

I came across a passage that really blessed me & brought comfort regarding His permanence.

Hebrews 7:23-25 (ESV)
The former priests were many in number, 
because they were prevented by death 
from continuing in office, 
but He hold his priesthood permanently, 
because He continues forever.

Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost 
those who draw near to God through Him, 
since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Just a brief Penny rephrase:  He saves completely or at all times - those who draw near to Him through Jesus - because Jesus is always living to make intercession for us!

Beautiful words - uttermost and always!  He has completely saved me and continues always to make intercession for me.

I wrote in my journal that I'm sure that Jesus knows when He needs to make intercession for me even before I ask.

Can't you just hear it?  Jesus saying to God, "Hey Dad, I know Penny is going to struggle here - let's send her some of our strength today.  She doesn't even yet know she's going to need, but we do."

I took just a moment to thank Him for "always living to make intercession" for me.  I'm certain I've taken it for granted far too often and this morning I wanted to recognize His awesome "forever-ness" and how it even includes taking care of me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hungry for Him

Here we are.... Finally Friday!

I sure have missed coming to my blog this week!  I've started a new morning routine - that involves working out!  Writing here is one of my greatest passions - so I'll work it back in, I promise!  I even wrote a blog, but signing permission slips and reviewing spelling words - cut my time short.

Here's a sneak preview of what God's doing in my life...

He's been showing me just how much He emptied Himself for me - and how I must do so too -  for others.  I've gotten to the end of the day feeling so "poured out" and empty.  As I've cried to the Lord about this - He's reminded me that 1) He did this for me, and 2) It is this hungry and empty feeling that keeps me close to Him!

This song reminds me that I truly am desperately hungry for the Lord.  I will walk any road as long as He walks it with me!  And as we walk together - He heals my broken spirit.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

His Word Sunday

Follow Suit

Most of you know that for my prayer time, I read the One Year Bible.  Most of what I share with you, here on my blog, is what God has shown me in His Word from that day's reading.

I do my best to keep everything in context and not look for ways to make everything that I read fit my own circumstances.  Rather I want God to show me what He wants me to see - not making scripture fit my life.  Because in reality - not everything in the Bible is about me!  LOL!

However, I love to watch and see how God's people, in the Bible, reacted to real-life situations and see if there is a way I can follow suit.

I saw a great example of one that I'm going to do my very best to follow today.


Jeremiah was known as the "weeping prophet" - we read of how he cried buckets of tears for God's people and His judgment on them in both Jeremiah & Lamentations.  Jeremiah witnessed the great exile of the Israelites to Babylon and the fall of Solomon's Temple.

You might say he lived an entire life of heartache.  So what were his feelings toward God?

Check it out:

Lamentations 3"55-58 (ESV)

I called on Your name, O Lord, 
from the depths of the pit, you heard my plea, 
"Do not close Your ear to my cry for help!"  
You came near when I called on You; 
You said, 'Do not fear!'
You have taken up my cause,
 O Lord; You have redeemed my life.

Wow!  In the midst of Jeremiah's hurts and cries.... He still felt redeemed.

He felt like God had taken up his cause and remembered him.  He still felt near to God!

These were his "feelings" in the midst of so much turmoil and devastation.  What an example!!!

If Jeremiah can find a way to feel this way in the middle of all his pain - I can too.  There's really not room for the "poor me's" when you find examples like this.

Honestly, I don't always "feel" this way... but I know my God with His great compassion and Him saying "Do not fear" - I can eventually get there.  This is my prayer today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

When the Chaos Comes Together

I started my week very sick.  Although it was nice to only have a 4-day week... It wasn't fun starting Monday in bed (or the bathroom - yuck).

But now that it's Friday...  I can see how it all came together and everything worked out.

God sees how everything works out too... right now!  He doesn't have to wait to see - He just already knows.

He already knows how all of what seems like chaos right now will turn out for His glory and my good.

I wish I knew.  I wish there was a little keyhole that I could look through and just see a glimpse of all this "good" I keep reading about, praying & hoping for....

I know I can't - so instead I just have to trust Him.  The Bible says He's the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end.  He was there at the beginning and He's already designed the end.

I heard this song this week and it brought me comfort knowing He knows the end.  He knows how all this chaos will come together.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shopping... Easy or Hard?

I am not a fan of digging for bargains when it comes to shopping.  Don't get me wrong, I love to shop - but I also love for it to be easy.

I'm not a big fan of garage sales.  Thrift stores are not really my thing.  I know... I'm a girl - you would think I would be willing to pilfer all day through a bunch of stuff to find that one great singular bargain.  That treasure in a haystack!  I certainly enjoy the benefits - but I'm not always willing to put forth the effort.

When in reality, if truth be told, I would rather walk into a nice store and what I'm looking for be right out in front, and HUGELY on sale.

Now, just because I've bared my soul on this little shopping matter, doesn't mean that I won't or haven't shopped at thrift stores and garage sales!  Sometimes, depending on what I need or the occasion - it's very much been worth it.

This morning I realized that sometimes I want finding God's riches and rewards to be just as easy.

Check this out...

Psalm 97:11 (ESV)
Light is sown for the righteous 
and joy for the upright in heart.

Simple.  Yes.  I for sure could use some "light" and "joy" in my life.  I wrote in my journal, told the Lord, that I wanted these 2 things not only in my life overall - but I needed them for the day ahead of me.  Of course I asked the Lord to keep my steps righteous and my heart focused on Him.

Then, I asked where I could find this treasured "light and joy"?  Actually I just asked if the Lord would put it right out in front of me, nicely hanging on those front racks - where it would be easy to find.

However, the Lord encouraged me to read further and there I would find the answer to where I could find "light and joy" in just my size.

Psalm 97:12 (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, 
and give thanks to His holy name.

Oh!  So I've got to put forth a little effort in this "light and joy" endeavor.  In order to find the light and joy I want in my day, I'm going to first need to praise Him - thank Him for who He is and the blessings, He's already shown me.

I'm going to have to dig further into who He is instead of just wait for Him to bring things to me.

The wonderful thing about bargain shopping is when you find that most perfect treasure.  I'm typically so very proud of it - that I brag about how and where I found it.  Today, I want to dig into who God is.  All the way to school I want to spend time rejoicing in the fact that He's God and I'm not.  I want to thank Him for saving me and giving up His Son for me.

I know that by taking time to do this, I can't help but to see light and joy in my day, because He will ever be before me.  And He is light and joy!  Then, I want to tell others where I found this great treasure!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lift me up

I'm so glad that my God is here to lift me up when I'm falling down.

It's been one of those "survival' kind of weeks.

I love this song and have listened to it many times.  The official video by this group is really awesome.  You should check it out on You Tube.  But... I thought you might enjoy a more light-hearted version on my blog today... and one with words.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Even when I'm riding my bike!

Monday morning.  
These two words make me want to just take a really deep breath and say, "Here we go!"

I know the topics I'll be covering this week and even the assignments that are required of me.  It's going to be a very full week!

As I've been praying over this day - Monday - the Holy Spirit continued to send one word to my heart...  STEADFAST.

I've been praying over the meaning of this word for a while.  I love this word.  It occurs throughout scripture in the ESV translation 193 times!  I've even written a few blogs about this word and the verses that spoke to my heart.

Lately JP and I have started this little routine.  And I think it's a picture of God's steadfast love for us.

At no specific time - it could be morning, evening, or smack dab in the middle of the day - JP & I will have this little dialogue,

JP:  "Mommy, I love you."

Me:  "JP, I love you too."

JP:  "I love you all day & all night."

Me:  "I love you even while I'm sleeping."

JP:  "I love you even while I'm at recess."

Me:  "I love you even while I'm at school."

JP:  "I love you even while I'm riding my bike."

At this point, this usually reminds him he'd like to be riding his bike and off he runs.  I love this time with him.  I think about it throughout the day and it makes me smile.

I think it originated after reading "Guess How Much I Love You" - where the rabbits try to show just how much they love each other by increasing the size of things.

But as I was thinking about this word, STEADFAST, I got this picture in my head.  God never sleeps or takes a nap.  He can love me & care for me while He's doing something else - He NEVER stops loving me.  No matter what!

Kind of like JP loving me while he's playing at recess or riding his bike...  God's faithfulness NEVER ceases.  I may not always feel the warm & fuzzies of His love in my day to day activities - but that doesn't mean it's not there!  I must focus on His steadfast love and let it make me smile.

If I can remember a 4-year old's words in the middle of the day and let them encourage me - then how much more should I focus on God's words and let them sustain me!

Today, I must admit, it feels a little as if my foot may be slipping, but this verse assures me I'm going to be okay.

Psalm 94:18 (ESV)
When I thought, "My foot slips,"  
Your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

His Word Sunday

You've got to read it all!

Do you have a favorite verse?  It's the kind of verse that you say to yourself often.  The verse you give friends when they need that something special to make it through the day - or a particular situation.

It's the verse that's not only highlighted but underlined and has extra notes in the margin of your Bible.

But today I was reminded to not forget the verses that lead up to that favorite verse - as well as the verses that come after it.

Here's one of mine - with the before and after - which spoke to me today:

Jeremiah 29:10-14 (ESV)
For thus says the Lord: 
When seventy years are completed for Babylon, 
I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you 
My promise and bring you back to this place.

For I know the plans I have for you,
 declares the Lord, plans for welfare 
and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope,

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, 
and I will hear you.  You will seek Me and find Me, 
when you seek Me with all your heart.  
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, 
and I will restore your fortunes 
and gather you from all the nations 
and all the places where I have driven you, 
declares the Lord, and I will bring you back 
to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Did you see all the things He will do for us when we call on Him?  Even through He once exiled us?  What a picture of REDEMPTION!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I belong to Him!

Yay!  It's finally Friday!  What a beautiful sounding word - Friday!

I had a wonderful prayer time with the Lord this morning.  He reminded me of many encouraging things.  I wish I had time to share with you all the comforting verses He showed me.

But for now - I'll just leave you with this small verse and this incredible song...

Psalm 84:11 (ESV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;  
the Lord bestows favor and honor.  
No good thing does He withhold 
from those who walk uprightly.

Sometimes we just need simple reminders of who we are - not in our eyes - but to Him!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Energy from my toenails

I think I'm probably like most people, I start my day full of energy and optimism for what the day may bring and then by the end of the work day I'm totally exhausted!

Some days it feels like I gave all that I had to make Science fun, to encourage kids to be good students and then as I'm walking to the parking lot.... well... let's just say I'm wishing I could have someone pick me up at the front door instead of going out to my car.

This morning I read what what the Lord says is His will for us all...

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (ESV)
And we urge you, brothers, 
admonish the idle, 
encourage the faint-hearted, 
help the weak, 
be patient with them all.

This passage goes on to say many more things we are supposed to to - that is the will of God.  But I had to stop right here.... I had to stop and ask God,

"Just where is the energy for all of this going to come from?  
My toenails?!"

I think I'm doing good if I can get my students to understand how to balance equations, not talk while I'm talking, not listen to their ipod when they're not supposed to and turn in their homework!

You mean to tell me in addition to all of that I need to:
1.  gently caution the ones who aren't doing anything
2.  encourage the shy ones to participate, build them up to know they can do this
3.  come alongside them if they fall
4.  Oh!  And be patient with them ALL!!!

OH MY!!!  I must be honest with you.  I read this and thought,

"All this in addition to what I'm already doing?!  How?!"

So I sat in my bed and asked the Lord.  "How?"  I want to be a good teacher, a good mother, a good employee - so tell me how I'm supposed to add these 4 things into my "curriculum".

Then I saw it!  After I prayed I just stared at my Bible.  Not really looking for the answer - but wondering what the answer might be.  The very last verse in this chapter has the key.

1 Thessalonians 5:28 (ESV)
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

In and of myself I can do nothing!  I can't find the energy to help the weak and faint-hearted, I can't gently caution or rebuke those we are being lazy, and I certainly can't find the energy to be patient with them all - all on my own.

However... with the grace of Christ - I most certainly can!  And I need to take His grace with me everywhere I go!

Today, if you feel like you've already tapped the energy from your toenails - and you just don't know how you're going to "do" the day.... apply the grace of Jesus to every detail of your life and watch your energy and patient level rise!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

His Word Sunday

Does your faith go farther than your words?

I love to talk!  But today I want my faith to speak louder and go father than my words ever could!

1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 (ESV)
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

"faith in God has gone everywhere" - this my prayer today!

Friday, October 7, 2011

When do you find Him?

It's been a very full week - and will be an even busier weekend.  My spirit and body are both exhausted.

Yes, I have plenty to say today.  I just can't seem to find the energy to put the words together in cohesive thoughts.   In fact, I read a line from a book this week that read, "I would cry, if I had time."  This is how I've felt most of this week.

So instead of talking, writing or crying... I'll just post this song that speaks my heart today.