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, September 30, 2011

Made More Faithful

Isn't it funny how we're always looking to "what's the next thing" - either on our calendars, schedules, event, you name it.  We get one thing done and we're checking to see what's next.

No wonder we, as a culture have trouble waiting!  We have trouble waiting in the simplest things, like the drive through or at the post office (does anyone ever really still go to this place?), or waiting for something to upload on our iPhone...

Then we really have trouble waiting for the more serious things like finding that next better job, or relationship, or God's next assignment.  We want to know NOW - what the future will bring.

I typically get to school each day no later than 7am.  I like to get into my room and just... be.  I turn on Pandora on my speakers and fill my classroom with "Jesus music" as I like to call it.  I straighten the desks, write the daily objectives on the board, check emails, and finally make sure I have all my copies and notes for the day's lessons.

This week as I was just "being" in my room I heard this song.  I had never heard it before and I actually stopped what I was doing to really listen (something you have time to do when you get there as early as I do - LOL!).

I was captured by the line - "as I'm waiting for You, maybe I'm made more faithful"

Wow!  Isn't this where we all really should want to be.... more faithful.

So in the waiting... we get to be where God ultimately wants us after all.  Interesting isn't it?  Perhaps the end result is not what we thought it was.

I hope you enjoy this song and learn to be faithful in your waiting too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

See you at the pole

In a previous blog, I mentioned that my new mission field is W127.  This is not some strange place - but rather my classroom at the High School where I teach Science.

Every day I am reminded of just how much these students are 1) very impressionable and 2) need the Lord in their life.

Today is "See You at the Pole"at 7am - and I'm looking forward to praying for my students in front of the school.

I'm not sure what to expect.  I'm not sure if I'm even really allowed to go... I'll have to report back on a later post.

I did bring it up in class yesterday and I had several students ask me if I would pray good things for them when I went to the pole.

Even these 14-year old kids are desperate for their lives to be better.  I read something today in my One Year Bible that gives me hope for them and for this prayer-filled activity today:

Isaiah 55:10 (ESV)
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven 
and do not return there but water the earth, 
making it bring forth and sprout, 
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; 
it shall not return to me empty, 
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, 
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Powerful!  It shall not return empty - but shall accomplish God's purpose and will succeed!

This is my prayer for the students of my school.  They they will get a visual today of God's Word in action.  Prayer is not a last resort - it is the very foundation of who we are in Christ!

I pray that at least one student will see other students on their knees and see the hope of Christ.  And that this seeing... will lead them to the One who can cure their desperate heart.

One last thing...  as I mentioned "See You at the Pole", in my class, I had one student ask me where the flagpole was located.  As at most schools, the flagpole is centered directly in front of the school.  Sometimes we miss the very thing that is right in front of us!

It becomes commonplace that we don't even know it's there.

Don't let this happen with you and God and prayer!  Don't miss out on a daily relationship with God - don't take Him for granted that you don't even see Him anymore.

 He's usually centered directly in front of you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What? No handles?

Last week Jordan submitted her very first school project!  She was allowed to have parental guidance and support, but of course she was required to actually do the work.

So my Mom and I helped her with a few suggestions on how to approach the project.  For the most part she agreed with and loved our ideas - step for step.

But the more confident she became the more she branched out on her own.  At times in the project she did things a little differently than I would have done them if it had been my own assignment.  I wanted to tell her "do it this way, it will be better" - but I knew I had to let her do it for herself.  Wasn't that the point - to let it be done her way, it's her grade.  Her teacher was not looking to see what Jordan's mommy could do - but rather what Jordan could do.

It took all that I had inside of me not to take over.  This was not the first time I've struggled with wanting to take over - to do things my way - to share how it could be done better.

I often times do this with the Lord.  I read a verse this weekend and realized I'm not the only one who struggles in this area.

Isaiah 45:9 (ESV)
"Woe to him who strives with Him who formed him, 
a pot among earthen pots!  
Does the clay say to Him who forms it, 
'What are you making?' or 
'Your work has no handles'?

Can you picture it?  A pot sitting on one of those spinning pottery wheels - saying to the maker, "What?!  You're making me with no handles?!  If I were making me, I would make me with handles!  I would be much better, I could be used for so much more if you would make me with handles!

Sounds silly doesn't it?

However, as soon as I read this, I saw myself in this verse.  I know I have said to God,

"What are you making of me?!  Why are you making me be single?!  If I were running this life, I would have left me with a wonderful husband!  I know I can serve you better with a husband! If I were doing this, I would do it better!"

The audacity right?  A pot has not right or really even any capability to change how the maker designs and fashions the pot.

Neither do we.  I don't see what God is making me into - yet I must trust that He knows what He's doing.  My job is not to yell, "What?!  No handles?!"  But rather to yield myself in His hands.

Simple message today - yet super hard to live out.  I must admit I struggle with this one.  I know I will get there eventually and I do trust Him.  And in this fleshly body, I still struggle.

Do you ever yell, "What?!  No handles?!"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

His Word Sunday

Growth & Participation

In my 41 years of walking on this planet, I've met many doers, and many watchers.

I'm sure you've heard that aged old saying,

"20% of the people do 80% of the work."

While this may be true... but this is NOT God's plan.  God wants us all to be about two things - growing and doing!

Check this out...

Ephesians 4: 15-16 (ESV)
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Did you catch it?

Grow up in every way into Him.  We are called to not just sit & soak - but rather to grow in Christ!

Also.... "when each part is working properly" - our churches need you, your job needs you, your families need you to be equipped and and working properly!

The end result?  Built up in love!  Just imagine the results of 100% of the people did 100% of the doing and the growing!

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Everything Good...even when it all feels broken

This week I've been teaching about the Periodic Table.  I know I'm a geek... it's actually one of my favorite chemistry lessons.  Everything builds on this - you've got to know the periodic table before you can go further in science.

So... I had my students look over the table and tell me which element was their favorite.  Many of the girls said Gold or Silver.  Finally a few of them caught on and said - OXYGEN!

So, as a Christian Science Teacher - I just had to post this song today.  I love the opening lines!  They talk about science concepts - like oxygen and gravity!

However, my favorite line comes later in the song - when it all feel broken - You are still everything good!

I've had a crazy week - and so I'm leaning extra strong on the fact that even if I don't feel it - He is everything good.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Slow Growth?

Someone once told me that the ages 2-4 are the best!  At the time this was said to me I was still potty training JP, so I really didn't buy into the fact that these were the "best years"!

However, now that we've passed that specific milestone, I must admit I'm loving this age.  He still says really cute things.  What makes them so cute is how serious he is about his thoughts!

Just the other day we were either driving down the road or entering church... I can't remember exactly where we were - but more than likely we were in the middle of something else - when all of a sudden, out of no where, JP asked the following question:

"Mommy, why am I growing so slow?"

I tried really hard not to bust out laughing!  Growing slow!  I think not!  From buying new shoes, new pants and other clothes, I can tell you, definitively he is not growing too slow!

My perspective is WAY different from his.  It seemed like just yesterday I was giving birth to him in Houston, TX on a rainy Monday morning.  It took forever (22 months) for him to get his first tooth and I thought he was never going to learn to walk.

And then I blink and he's asking how soon will he be going to Kindergarten!  I know that I'll blink again and he'll be looking at colleges.  I treasure his age and where he is right now.  I absolutely love watching him play with his trains in the living room.  I love listening to him make up new sounds for planes that fly in the air and cars that drive really fast down the tracks he spends hours (ok - long minutes) making.

And yet... from his perspective he's growing slowly.

I know I'm the exact same way with my Lord.  I want to know just how long things are going to stay like they are now.  How long will my heart hurt?  How long must I watch wonderful things happen to other people while I am required to put my dreams aside?

I've often asked God can I please just have a glimpse of what tomorrow is going to look like for me.  I have many many questions - we all do.  I guess in some strange way, I'm asking JP's question to God.

"Why are my times moving so slowly?!"

But the Bible says that our times are but a hand breadth to Him.  They're not moving slowing from His perspective.  In fact, I read this verse about our times just this week...

Isaiah 33:6 (ESV)
He will be the stability of your times, 
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.

Stability of my times.  
Yes, I could use a good dose of stability.  How about you?

I don't want JP to grow up too quickly.  Mainly because I know there are things he needs to learn now in order to be a productive grown-up.  God doesn't want me to get ahead of Him or His plan either.  He knows there are experiences that He needs me to encounter in order to be a productive servant in His Kingdom.

So... for now, I will wait on the Lord...

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength

I must admit - this is a hard one for me.  I can do it.  I will do it.
And yet, I still struggle with this.  Does anyone else?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Look for the puddles

Rain.  Do you remember what it's like to hear thunder?  Or watch it rain for more than a couple of minutes?  This past weekend, I woke up to this strange sound coming from the sky!  I thought it might be thunder - but it's been so long since I heard that noise I wasn't quite sure!

It rained while we were in church.  Later that day, as I walked outside and could tell it was already drying up again.  I looked for the evidence of the rain.

I was hoping I would find puddles in the ground, the street, anywhere - just to know that water was accumulating in the dry places of my yard.

You know the Lord promises to bring water to the very dry places of our life.

Isaiah 35:3-6 (ESV)
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.  

Say to those who have an anxious heart, 
"Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, 
with the recompense of God.  
He will come and save you!"

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, 
and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 
then shall the lame man leap like a deer, 
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.  

For waters break forth in the wilderness, 
and streams in the desert.

I love this promise!  Waters and streams in places that seem to have been forgotten.  A place of refreshment in places that are filled with danger or discomfort.

When I think of the words "wilderness" and "desert",  I picture a place that is filled with loneliness and hardships.  Places that have almost become normal for me these days.  And yet the Lord tells me that He is going to provide water - something that provides nourishment, refreshment, and revival in those exact places!

These provisions of water might be as big as the ocean or as small as a puddle.  I might have to look for them like I did after Sunday's rain - but I need to look for this promise all the same!

I need to not let the vastness & dryness of the desert keep me from seeing His puddles of refreshment!

Today - I'll be looking for the streams in the desert!  
Won't you join me?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

His Word Sunday

Power Belongs to God

Today our church will be experiencing a "marker moment".  It will be a Sunday that will live in our hearts for a very long time.  Today our Pastor of 34 years will preach and we will celebrate him entering into a new ministry... retirement.

We are all very sad to see him leave this position.  We have all encountered his ministry some where along the road... whether it be joyful times like weddings, new homes, new jobs or sad times like funerals or other adversities that needed counseling, he has always been there for many many people.

He has been an excellent leader for this church.  He has fulfilled his calling in a wonderful way at Denman Avenue Baptist Church and we are all going to miss him greatly!  On days like this it's easy to wonder what we will do without him.  Where will our church go?  What will we, as a church, become?

But as I pray for our church and the next chapter we are entering, and I as I pray for our Pastor who is leaving and our Pastor who is to come - I know this....

God still has a plan of ministry for us all - and the power behind this ministry is not found in a single man - but in God alone.  And I believe He still has great plans for us all!

I read this verse this morning and found amazing comfort in the plan He has put before us all.

Psalm 62:5-8, 11-12 (ESV)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, 
for my hope is from Him.  

He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my salvation and my glory; 
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: 
that power belongs to God, and that to You, 
O Lord, belongs steadfast love.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I love the way...

Yay!  It's Friday!  I love the end of the week.  I guess to me in some strange way it signifies victory!  We made it another week.  Another week of whatever God put in our path... He gave us strength to get the job done - no matter what it was.

So today - for my Friday song... I wanted something upbeat and happy.

I absolutely love this song.  When I first heard it I thought about John.  However this song is not about another human - it's about God!  Did you know that He holds us?!

I love the way my Lord holds me and makes me smile all day long!

I hope He makes you smile too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Birthday Message...

Well... I feel as if I should write something today... but to be honest I'm struggling with what to write.  I knew & remembered what I wrote before I checked it - but I re-read what I wrote this time last year.

Last year's Birthday Blog

I wrote about the hopefulness of the new decade that I'm now living in  - my 40's.  I wrote about how excited I was about what God had in store for me in this new phase of my life.  Little did I know that just 3 months later that would include saying, "Goodbye, I'll see ya in Heaven" to the love of my life!

I miss him so very much!  I wish tonight we could enjoy a quiet evening together.  At a restaurant of my choosing... and talk about many things.  I would tell him about all of my classes - the ones that challenge me and the ones that make me smile.

I would love to laugh with him about the latest cute things the kids have said.  Like, JP just said last week, "Mommy, why am I growing so SLOW?!"  Oh, if he only knew how fast it was in my eyes!!

To be honest, I would love to just sit with him and just catch my breath.  It seems like the last 8.5 months have been filled to the brim with almost more than I can handle.

And yet... I know my God has given me His strength to do all that has transpired.  As I read my Bible this morning, I asked the Lord was there a Word in today's reading just for me.  A "Birthday Message" if you will.

The Proverb from my One Year Bible really spoke to me today:

Proverbs 23:12 (ESV)
Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.

This is what I'm taking with me out into today.  Last year, I wrote naively about a new decade that was sure to be filled with wonderful things.  Yes, wonderful things are still happening every day!  Yes, God still has a beautiful life planned for me and my incredible kiddos.

But today, I'm going to focus this new decade on applying my heart to instruction and leaning my ear on God's Word.  I know have so much still to learn!

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Science: Homeostasis

When I stayed at home with my kids, God would reveal Himself to me in the things I saw & heard at home.  When I started studying for the Science Certification Exam - He revealed Himself to me there.

And now that I'm teaching... guess what?  Yep!  You've got it!  He's revealing Himself to me in the concepts that I'm teaching my students.

I shouldn't be surprised by this.  It's His world.  He made it, He can show up anywhere anytime He so chooses.  And of course He's going to show Himself in whatever place He's put me in at the time.

The other day I was teaching my seniors Biology.  I put a list of vocabulary on the board and we had a small activity to reinforce the words & concepts.  One of the words was "HOMEOSTASIS".

Even as I was teaching this concept the Lord spoke to me and I've been mulling it over in my mind ever since.  This morning in my prayer time He showed me how to have "homeostasis" within my spirit.

Homeostasis is by definition a property of a system to regulate its internal environment so as to maintain a stable & healthy condition.  Our body maintains homeostasis in the following manner:

If you are dehydrated - you thirst
If you are cold - you shiver - to produce heat
If you are hot - you sweat - to cool you off
If you need nourishment - you hunger

In other words, our bodies send us signals, that drive us to acquire what we need.  At first it seems like it may be a negative thing... sweating, shivering, thirsting, and hungering.  But these all happen from our bodies to tell our mind to do something about it!  To fix the problem and make it better.  As a result... we maintain a healthy & stable condition and can go about our day.

Homeostasis is also about balance.  If you're too hot - you need to cool off.  Simple right?

What about on a spiritual level?  How do we maintain homeostasis within our spirit?

Do you think God allows us to experience certain things that will drive us to trust Him?  I read this passage this morning and thought about how this might be a part of my Spiritual Homeostasis.

Psalm 56:3-4, 8, 10-11 (ESV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.  
In God, whose word I praise, 
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  
What can flesh do to me? 

You have kept count of my tossings, 
put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not in Your book?
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?

So, as fear arises in my day, whether that be fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen at my next Teacher Evaluation, fear of will I teach this material in a productive manner.... I am driven to trust the Lord.  This will help me to maintain a healthy spiritual environment within my soul.

As fear rises - trust must rise!  This will keep my heart & spirit in balance - seeking to keep them stable & healthy!

Trusting in the Lord is the fixing of the fear problem.

Just like our body sends us signals to stay healthy - so does our spirit.  
How will you maintain spiritual homeostasis today?  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

His Word Sunday

The Righteous Stand Firm

 Where were you?  I'm sure we all remember where we were on that fateful day.  When we heard that a plane hit the tower.  Then when we heard that the tower fell.

I remember John calling to check on me.  We were not yet engaged at that time, & I was impressed with the care he was giving my heart over this national tragedy.

I know these past 10 years has had "some" healing effect on the victim's families.  But I also know they still ache.  I know their hearts still hurt as they see time marching on without their loved ones.

When deep pain and trials come into our lives so often we wish we could just fly away from it all.

King David felt the exact same way....

Psalm 55:5-8 (ESV)
Fear & trembling come upon me, 
and horror overwhelms me.  

And I say, "Oh that I had wings like a dove! 
 I would fly away and be at rest; 
yes, I would wander far away; 
I would lodge in the wilderness; 
I would hurry to find shelter from 
the raging wind and tempest.

But look where God leads him to during these very raw & real feelings...

Psalm 55:22 (ESV)
Cast your burdens on the Lord 
and He will sustain you; 
He will never permit 
the righteous to be moved.

Today - let's all stand firm in the Lord.  He will sustain us all through these days of heavy burdens.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Make the most of my time

Can you believe it's been 10 years?!  This weekend is a very special time in the life of our country as we remember those who lost their life on that fateful day - September 11th.

I'm sure we all remember where we were when we heard that the towers were falling.  Then later how we learned that the tragedy wasn't over as 2 more locations had crashes!

There were many many heroes that day.  Heroes that lost their life to save another.  I know time helps - but it doesn't make their pain go away.  Especially as they experience time marching on without their loved ones.

I'm experiencing this very thing too.  I did a double take just yesterday - seeing JP age - it seems right before my very eyes.  I wish John could see how well his children are doing and how incredible young people they are becoming!

I'm going to make the most of my time here.  I'm going to do my best to do all that the Lord still requires of me.  But I still look forward to the day when I can see him again.  I know the Lord is saving my place in His Kingdom.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sacrificial Thanksgiving

I'm in my 3rd week of teaching school and I think everyone is finally in the groove.  Students and teachers alike - we're all going about our daily grind.

I came home yesterday and my report was, "It was a drama-less day" - which is a wonderful thing to report!

However, as I went about my day, I couldn't help thinking about my earlier prayer time.  It was a verse from Psalms and to be quite honest I'm still working on making this one a genuine part of my heart.  It's not that I don't believe it.... it's just a hard one.  But I've never backed down from a challenge before, and I'm not starting now.

How do feel about the concept of "thanksgiving"?  I'm not talking about the holiday in November, but rather offering up to the Lord thanksgiving.  Thanking God for everything.

I read a verse about thanksgiving that kind of stopped me in my tracks yesterday.  I would love to hear how you feel about this verse.

Psalm 50:23 (ESV)
The one who offers thanksgiving 
as his sacrifice glorifies me,
 to the one who orders his way rightly 
I will show the salvation of God.

I totally love thanking God for the wonderful things in my life.  So it's really not a sacrifice to thank Him for my wonderful children, incredible family & friends, the new job I have, or food and other provisions.

However, to thank Him for bringing John, the love of my life, my very best friend-  to Heaven....

Whew!  Now that's more of a sacrificial thanksgiving.

Sacrifice is defined as giving up something of value.  I don't have to give anything up to thank God for the pleasures in my life.  This one is win-win!  I get to enjoy the good stuff, and I'll send the praise on up to God.

But to thank God for the pains in my life - that's a whole different story!

Must I really thank Him for moving John to Heaven?  For changing everything about my life? For exposing my private life to everyone?  For allowing me to feel lonely on most days?

Those "thankful" words are a little harder to form on my lips and even harder to truly feel. 

But the Psalmist says to offer "thanksgiving" up as your sacrifice will bring glory to the Lord.  I certainly want every part of my life (the good & the painful) to bring glory to God.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

His Word Sunday

Shiney vs. Hard

In my Science class we're about to study chemical & physical changes. Physical changes reveal only outward changes to the substance -while chemical changes change the actual make-up of the substance.

I saw a chemical change in the Bible & I'm going to be pondering this one for a while.
However... This chemical change affects the physical as well!!

Ecclesiastes 8:1 (ESV)
A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.

Today, let His wisdom shine on your face & let the hardness of life's sorrows soften.

I love you all dearly,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Something to Say

Yeah!  I made it through Week #2.  I definitely have things I want to change... and eventually I will, if only I could catch up on my sleep and find some energy!

I'm really looking forward to the holiday weekend!!

I recently heard this song and identified with it in a BIG WAY!!!

We all have something God wants us to say!  I know we get tired - I know we wonder does it even really matter.

The message of this song is: even when you're tired, you've got a great message that only you can deliver!

Enjoy & have a great Friday with what you've got to say!