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 30, 2011

What your "one word"?

I have often asked ladies in my years of ministry, if you could use one word to describe your life what would it be.

My word has always been 

I grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at a very young age.  However, my college and young adult years were not kind to my life of faith.  I was rebellious for many years.  I made many mistakes for which I am not proud, and stayed away from the Lord as a result.

One particular life decision brought me to such devastation, the only thing I could think to do was return to the Lord.  I began going back to church, reading my Bible, praying and as a result my life was changed forever!

I met John, my Pastor husband, we had 2 beautiful, healthy children and had a beautiful life of faith together.  REDEEMED.  This was the only word I could think to describe my life!  I didn't deserve any of this, and yet the Lord redeemed me and took my worst and gave me the very best!

So today, on the 3 month mark of John's Homegoing.... I've often asked myself... "So what's my word now?"  Can I really describe my life as REDEEMED when it feels like I've lost the very best part of me?

This has been a question I've had in my heart since December 30th.  And today I found my answer in the words of David in Psalms.

Psalm 71: 20-21 (ESV)
You who have made me see troubles and calamities will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth You will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.

Okay... brief interjection...
As I read this, I thought... "this is me!"  The Lord has allowed me to experience this great tragedy.  Yes, from the "depths of the earth" I have been!  Oh what a joy to know that He will bring me out of this despair and comfort me again!

I know the story of David.  I know the pain that was in his heart over his great loss.  You can hear it in his voice from these verses.  But look at what he says next.  The very next verse after he speaks of his great pain amazed me!

Psalm 71:22-23 (ESV)
I will also praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to You;
my soul also, which You have redeemed.

Wow!  David gives us a great example that after a tragedy, after pain that sends us to the depths of the earth we can still praise Him.  We can still recognize our God as faithful. We can still have joy.

And the best part for me today... 
we are still REDEEMED!

Do you have a "one word"?  
Whatever "word" God has given you... nothing on this earth can take that away!

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!

Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are you a notetaker? It's actually quite Biblical!!!

I don't know why it surprises me when I read about just how much my God knows me - but so often it does!  This morning I was reading in Deuteronomy how many different ways & places God wanted the children of Israel to put His laws ever before them.
Deuteronomy 11: 18-21 (ESV)
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you re walking by the way, and when you lie down, and and when you rise.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

Whew!  That's a lot of places!  As I read this I thought of two things... two visuals if you will.

One - I thought of the past month of studying for my Science Certification Test (which I passed by the way!).  I bet I made over a hundred notecards trying to get all that information in my brain.  Then as I was studying my notecards, I made notes on these big pieces of folded paper.  Yes, it was kind of like notes from my notes!  Then as the test day got closer I made little brightly colored sticky notes for my big page notes!  I was doing everything I could to get all that information in my brain where it would actually STAY there!

I know God was trying to communicate to His people, "Everywhere you go, I want you to see my commands!"  Why do you think that is?  I believe He knew.  I believe He knew that given an opportunity to mess up - they would, that they would easily get distracted from the task at hand.

This brings me to my second illustration.  Yesterday I had the extreme honor of accompanying my son to his second T-Ball practice. 

To read the rest of this post - come see me over at Seeds of Faith!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Your Daddy is bigger!

Do you remember those childhood things we used to say out on the playground?  It seems we've probably all bragged on how big our Daddy is at some point in our lives.

I thought about this today as I had my prayer time.  Well, okay be to honest, I first thought about the big, HUGE obstacles I've had to go through lately - but eventually got to how big my Heavenly Daddy is.

Let me show you what I mean...

Deuteronomy 9:1, 3 (ESV)
Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves, cities great and fortified up to heaven.

Know therefore today that He who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God.  He will destroy them and subdue them before you.

I read this passage this morning and just smiled.  I thought about the things and projects that I've had to tackle that definitely seemed "greater & mightier" than myself.  Tasks that definitely felt like they were "fortified up to heaven."  Someone shared with me shortly after John's Homegoing that it would take me 6 months to a year to take care of all of the financial and legal issues that were left to my care.

In 2 days it will be 3 months, and I would say I'm perhaps half-way done with all of these matters.  I did back then, and still do today, have issues in my life that are bigger than me.  In fact, most of them are so daunting and scary they make me want to turn away!  I would imagine when then children of Israel realized what was before them - they were probably a little scared themselves.  Perhaps they even thought, "Me?  I'm to go up against them?  Look how big they are!!!  This is just too much!"

And yet, God told them (in Penny's language), "Yes... they are not only bigger than you - but they are greater and mightier with huge boundaries in front of them.  But I'm going to before you and I will destroy & subdue them!"

I love this!  He tells us that He goes over before us!  He's bigger than the mightiest!  He's bigger than the greatest!  And no boundary - no fortified wall - can keep Him from making a way for His children!

Do you have something in front of you today that is bigger than you?  That's making you wonder, "how in the world am I going to get through this?"  Take comfort in the words God gave to the children of Israel and apply them to your own life.

Know in your heart that no matter the size of the problem, the obstacle, the point of worry in your life... your God is bigger, stronger, and He will lead you through it.

Don't forget your Daddy is bigger than them all!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

His Word Sunday

Don't Forget!

This morning I am still praising my God for my PASSED test from last Tuesday!  I know it was my God who allowed me to either recall the correct answer or just guess the right choice!  So many people prayed for me - and I give God all the glory.

Most of us have had times in our life where we have thanked God for delivering us - thanked faithful followers for praying for us.  However, it's very natural over time to forget God's faithfulness.

God knew this was a dangerous possibility and He warned against it in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy8:10-11, 17-18 (ESV)
And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.  Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His rules and His statutes, which I command you today.

Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'  You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Today - take time to give God the glory for all that you have - for battles won, for provisions, for deliverance, for peace....  Never forget that it all came from Him and His power.

Take care - lest you never forget!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nothing to prove....

Wow!  I've neglected my blog all week!  I think that test took more out of me than I expected it would.

The test was Tuesday and I believe it's taken me until today to fully recover.

I've learned so much about life and really living since John went Home.  He truly taught people more with how he lived than by what he preached.

I recently heard this song and not only thought about the love of my life.... and how he lived every part of this song... but I also thought about how I want this to be true in my own life.  So... I'm making changes in my life today so others can say this about me.

I hope you enjoy this song and have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

His Word Sunday


No, don't worry, I'm not about to give you the complete structure of a DNA molecule (although, after all my studying I certainly could)!!

The verse that I've chosen today for HIS WORD SUNDAY, is a very familiar one.  I almost skipped right over it as I read it this morning in my One Year Bible... but as I read it I was reminded of a wonderful thing that happened yesterday.  I just have to share it as it fits beautiful with God's Word.

As we were leaving Ft. Worth yesterday to come back to East Texas, I treated the kids with a new DSi game.  They immediately started playing them - excited about our trip home and looking forward to a new game to keep them occupied.  I then remembered that I had promised Jordan that I would get her a Bible cover.  However, she really didn't have a good Bible that was readable and inviting for an almost 7 year old.

To end this long story we left LifeWay with a new Bible and cover for Jordan and a small little picture Bible for JP.  For about the next hour the DSi games were TOTALLY ignored!!!  They both were super excited about their new Bibles.  Jordan read to me several passages.  JP, as he opened his new Bible said this with nothing but extreme excitement,  "Mommy, these are God's Words!!!"

I couldn't have been happier.  It's in their DNA to crave, thirst, want GOD in their life!  He made us that way and I'm thrilled to hear and see their desire for Him at such a young age!

Psalm 63:1-3 (ESV)
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; 
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory.
Because You steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.

Today, as you sit in church, have a new excitement for your Bible.  Be like JP, and smile - knowing you're looking at God's Words!

Friday, March 18, 2011

If You want me to...

Well, Spring Break is almost over...  did it seem to go too fast for you too?

I've missed my kids this week - but I got a ton of good studying done!  I've heard lots of good songs this week that have ministered to me - but this one just keeps coming to my mind.

I heard it about 10-12 years ago, when I was walking through another low valley in my life, and it brought me comfort then and it's doing the same now.

I hope it blesses your heart as it has mine so many times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kin Selection

Okay, I need to make this quick.... as I'm up very early  - still studying for my test.

Yesterday I worked on Genetics & Evolution, and I came across a definition that really struck my heart as I was learning its meaning.

Kin Selection:
Strategies in evolution that favor reproductive success of an organism's relatives, even at a cost to their own survival and or reproduction.  For example... sterile female insects act as workers to assist their mother in the production of additional offspring.  They enhance others to keep the species growing, even at their own expense.

Wow!  Ladies, this happens naturally, or you might say, innately.

I had to ask myself, do we as humans do this?  Does this only have to happen in insects?!  Can we, as Christians help those in the very areas where we are deficient?  Where we are experiencing a loss ourselves?

Can infertile mothers help and love on pregnant women?  Can I, a recent widow, still teach young wives how to love their husbands?  The obvious answer is YES!  If insects can do it - surely God can help us to love our "kin"!

I know that just because John is living in Heaven doesn't mean that I can no longer pass along the wisdom the Lord taught me about being a good wife.  It is still my heart's desire for wives everywhere to love their husbands.  I want the "species" of husband-loving wives to continue to grow - even in the midst of my own personal pain.

What about you?  Is there an area where you are struggling?  It could be that God wants you to help in that very area!  At the very least, it's something to think about.

Interesting... maybe we'll even come up with a new term...

Christian Kin Selection

If you're here from iFellowship... WELCOME!
I hope you grab a cup of your favorite beverage
and hang out with me a while!

Leave me a comment, so I'll know you came by
and know that I'll be by later to visit you as well!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Ordinary Rock!

One more week!  In just 7 days, I’ll be taking a HUGE Science test that will allow me to enter an Alternate Certification Program so I can teach High School Science.
I’ve been studying everything from Laws of Motion, to radioactive decay, to cell structures, to rock formations.  It’s this last one that I want to talk about with you today.  I know I’ve been talking a lot about science lately… sorry… it’s what’s on my brain.
At the end of each day’s study, I work a practice exam.  As I grade it, I add the ones I missed to a “Must Remember” page.  Last night, as I was trying to conclude my study time, I read from this page to my parents!  I’m sure they were thrilled to hear some of the things I had been learning – LOL!
One of the “must remember” items dealt with rock formations!  Sunday, I read a verse in my prayer time that was about a rock and what God did with this very special rock.
IMG_5041Numbers 20:11, 13 (ESV)
And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed Himself holy.

Creative Commons License photo credit: joelogon

To read the rest of this post and see how AWESOME this rock can be in your own life... come & join me at Seeds of Faith Women!


Monday, March 14, 2011

"Let it be" - I choose to say this!

Monday morning... Spring Break Monday!

This morning as I sit here at my computer, coffee and Bible beside me, I can actually hear the birds chirping outside.

It's a beautiful sound!  I can hear them because my children are with my sister in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Thanks Glenda!  You're the best!)  It's Spring Break - so she offered to take care of them for the week (along with her 2 boys) while I finish up my last week of studying before my big test next Tuesday.

As I look back on the past 75 days, I can now see the many different segments, or parts, of this journey I've traveled.  First we had to get through the funeral part, then there was the packing up the New Orleans house and get moved, then there were many legal and financial details that had to be addressed immediately (some of which are still lingering), and now I'm working on the future part, a job/career for myself.

Even in those early days, I shared with someone that I knew that God had chosen this exact path for me.  He must know I'm fit and ready for it - I just must be willing to walk it with Him - as scary and painful as it will be.

I read a verse in my prayer time this morning that not only has strengthened this sentiment - but has given me a motto for this next new part of my journey.

Luke 1:38 (ESV)
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; 
let it be to me according to your word."  
And the angel departed from her.

Wow!  What a statement!  Mary said this right after the angel told her how she would give birth to the very Son of God!  What an assignment!

In no way am I comparing my journey to Mary's!  Hear me say this!   But what I want to do today is emulate her attitude and her willingness to obey.

I'm sure all that the angel told her was extremely overwhelming and she probably wondered about the details.  It's in the this - that I can relate.  My life has been very overwhelming lately and every day I work and rework the details of my future.  I battle between trying to have foresight and plan accordingly to worrying about the outcome. Do you ever do this?  Tell me I'm not alone here!

In reality, all God really wants me to say is, "I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

I also know this doesn't mean to sit back and just "let it happen"...  Read the first part of this verse - "I am the servant"... I must work hard, be engaged, and lay my head down on my pillow at night, exhausted from doing what He's called me to do.  And then... be willing to say from that point, "let it be according to me".

Therefore today, as I enter into yet another part of this new journey the Lord has called me to, I am going to study hard, prepare for this test, and not worry about the details - instead just say,

"let it be to me according to your word."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

His Word Sunday

God is for me!

I had a wonderful prayer time this morning!  As I read my One Year Bible I scribbled down things in my journal and struggled with which one to share with you.  Perhaps the others will have to be devotionals for later in the week...

This one, however, always speaks to me.  It brings hope on so many levels and lets me see just how much my God loves me.  (yes, it's a bit longer than I typically allow - but you'll be blessed to read to the end!)

Psalm 56:8-13 (ESV)

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.

In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death, 
yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

Have you been tossing or crying lately?  God has taken notice!  They've been recorded and collected!

Today, no matter what you're tossing or crying about - know that God is for you and He wants to keep you from falling.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm dancing in my mind....

Whew!  Made it another week.  Don't you just love Fridays?!

This week has been very full!  I worked at the High School every day except Tuesday - and on that day I took a practice exam for my upcoming entrance into the Alternate Teaching Certification Program.

I've done so much studying that my brain is beginning to go into overload!

Normally... this would be a weekend where John would & I would have danced in the kitchen to some classic George Strait songs after the kids went to bed - you know... Friday Night Date Night.

So for my song today, instead... Instead of dancing with him in person - I'll be carrying my love for him with me as I travel to see some of my dearest friends - and I'll be dancing with him in my head all the way there.

I miss you Babe.  It's been a tough week - filled with good and bad.  I love you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tent Position

I'm so glad it's Monday!  Today, for me, Monday represents a new day, a new week, and a new attitude.

Last week was really rough.  I struggled all week with the question, "Where do I fit?".  Most of this is probably the nature of being a substitute teacher.  The answer to that question from that perspective is... "you fit everywhere!"  Or... "you fit where you're needed".

Everyone at the school where I'm working has been WONDERFUL!  Yet, every room I walk into, I find a new & different surrounding.  It takes some form of adjustment - every day.

Last week, as I was feeling this "where do I fit" emotion, I realized that my first "class" was my off-period. So I got out my Bible and started my prayer time.  I read the One Year Bible and currently we're in Numbers for the Old Testament portion.  I almost rolled my eyes and skipped that part.  I wasn't really in the mood to hear all the names... again!

But I obediently began reading.  Then moments later began crying.  I love it when God surprises me!

In Numbers chapter 2, I began reading about how God told Moses to tell the people where to put their tents in their current new home.

Numbers 2:2 (ESV)
The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' houses.  They shall camp facing the tent of the meeting on every side.

He then goes on for several verses, telling each tribe where to set their tent.  He gives details such as where the tribe of Judah will camp (and all the other tribes), who the chief is of every tribe, the number in each tribe, and who they are to camp beside.

As I read detail after detail about their new home - it dawned on me....

I'm not the only one to wonder, "Where do I fit?"

I bet there were plenty of Israelites wondering the very same thing.  Day after day they entered into a new surrounding.  I wonder if the women were wondering when they would finally get to "set up their home".  Then God gives them an extreme amount of detail - just about their tent position!!!

It was then & there... in that Journalism classroom - all alone - that I realized, that if God cared so much about the direction of their tent - then He cares about mine too!

But here's the most beautiful thing I saw from this passage....

For every tribe - no matter where He told them to put their tent - they all had the same instruction...

"face the tent of the meeting"

In other words, He wanted them to face the presence of God.

Today, my "tent" is my heart - for this is where the Lord dwells.  But the question I had for myself and the one that I have for you today is this:

"Do you wake up with your face toward the Lord 
- or towards your pain and problems?

I wrote a prayer in my journal after reading this wonderful passage from Numbers.  This was just a part of that prayer,

"Lord, set my eyes ever before Your tent and Your details for my life.  Give me direction.  Show me where to put my 'tent'."

I hope you all have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

His Word Sunday

Sunday is still one of my hardest days.  I'm now a member of the church where I grew up and I love it!  The Pastor is wonderful, the people are great and my children ABSOLUTELY love going every Sunday!

However I miss hearing John pray, preach and sing every Sunday!  John loved God's Word so much!  In fact, one of his favorite things in the Bible were the blessings.  It was from reading all the wonderful words spoken by fathers to children in scripture, that he came up with the idea to speak a "blessing" over our children every night.

He also spoke a blessing over our church every Sunday.  This morning, as I was having my prayer time, I came across the Blessing of Aaron.  At the close of every service - these are the words we would hear...

Numbers 6:34-36 (ESV)
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

As I read them again this morning, they made me smile for many reasons.  I could almost hear John's voice in my head as I read it.  Also, what a message!  To receive a smile from the Lord as He looks upon me and to receive both grace & peace in the process!

This is truly fuel for my day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

No matter what.... Heaven Stands!

How has your week been?  Mine's been a little rough.  I shared some of that with you here on my blog.

We all have shaky days, weeks - times in our lives.  What a comfort it is to know that in those times... in those times of pain, uncertainty that God is not changed - that God did not become shaky too.

I love this verse and the song that follows.  I heard it on the radio and LOVED it!

(with my new Shazam app I was able to find it so easily!!! - Thanks Jeanne for showing me this app!)

Psalm 73:26 (NLT)
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, 
but God remains the strength of my heart; 
He is mine forever.