Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Well this past weekend was a special one. We had all three of our grands visiting us for a little less than 72 hours. We called it Mimi & Poppy Camp and we had all kinds of scheduled activities for them. It all started off the moment we picked them up with Road Trip Bingo, and each time they won, Mimi gave them a prize, then there was the sing-a-longs on the way to our house too. We sung to the top of our lungs some of our favorite songs. When we finally made it back to our house, I had special snacks in the refrigerator in the basement that was just for them. The basement in their playroom. Being the Event Planner that I am, I had the next day filled with field trips, pool time and games, golf cart rides then ending the evening with a movie, and popcorn in our PJ’s and that was followed by some object lessons for the devotions Jeff and I had planned.

 

During one of our nights object lesson, we had the kids put together a puzzle backwards, looking at the gray side, not the picture side. Jeff explained that, is like our life sometimes, each thing that happens to us in life, is like a piece of a puzzle and God is putting each piece together because He as the perfect plan for us and although sometimes we can’t understand it and we can’t see what He is trying to do. We have to trust Him even when we don’t understand what is going on.  Jeff had one of them read Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” We can trust God even when we can’t see what is going on because He has a plan and it is for your good.

 

I think the highlight of the weekend for me though, was when we met their parents back in Wichita and instead of being excited to go home, they said “Quick Mimi!!, Take us back to your house, we don’t want to go home!!” Of course they were happy to see their parents too. But I have to say, my heart was so happy when they begged to stay with me. I felt I must had succeeded in making them feel special enough to want to come back. As, I sat reflecting on the weekend. I remembered my own Grandma. She always made me feel so special.

 

I remember when she took me into her kitchen one day, and showed me where in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, at the back she had hidden the cans of root beer she had bought just for me. She told me “Now, This is our little secret, we won’t tell your cousins about this, this is just for you” She made me feel so special that day, it was like I was her most favorite person in the whole world. My grandma was a woman would loved the Lord and certainly showed me that love.

 

All this got me thinking, what if we made every person we came in contact with feel as special as my grandma made me feel and hopefully I made my grands feel. You know one of the other things we talked about with our grands was that we were made in God’s image. We had the kids take modeling clay and create and image of themselves out of it.  We talked about how they look like their parents.. We read in Genesis that God created us, how because we’re made in God’s image and we are suppose to act like Him and when people see us, they should see Jesus in us. .

 

We talked about how God sent His only son to die on the cross for us so that we could have life eternally and live with Him in heaven one day. I don’t know about you but someone dying for me, seems like a pretty special act. There is in fact no greater gift to give, than for someone to lay down their life for us. I know if someone died for me I would be forever grateful and anytime they would ask me anything I would do my best to accommodate them anyway I could.

 

We’ll it’s like that with Christ isn’t it? He gave His life for us, and out of pure gratification we need to follow what He asks us to do and one of those things is to reflect Him. In His time here on earth He showed unconditional love to all no matter their social status or how familiar He was with them.  

 

I have to admit. I struggle with this I am often socially awkward in new situations with people I don’t know, and although I appear to be an outgoing person, sometimes in those situations. I can also appear aloof and maybe even snobbish when I don’t mean to be. I am striving to really be the type of person that everyone feels welcomed and loved by. I not only want my grandchildren to feel special when they walk away from me but everyone I come in contact with.

 

I believe we see Jesus doing this throughout His time here on earth and God calls us to do the same. But things like this don’t happen without an intentional commitment to make it happen. It is so easy to slip back into the our old habits if we aren’t intentional everyday.  

 

Oh! And apparently, I was not the only one grandma loved, and wanted to make feel special.  As my cousins and I sat around the funeral home, after our grandma passed away. All of the sudden one of my cousins speaks up and says. “Well, I know Grandma loved me more because she hid my favorite candy in the bread box for me” and another spoke up and you guessed it, Grandma had hidden something special for them too, She led everyone of her grandchildren, to  all to believe we were the ones she loved the most.

 

So, how about we all be like my Grandma Northcutt this week. Let’s make sure everyone we come in contact with feels like they are the most important person in the world to you! Let’s reflect God’s Love.  Whether it be the person you meet on the street or the coworker you see everyday. Smile, shake their hand, or give them an encouraging word or complement. Let the love of Jesus and all the gratitude you feel towards Him be reflected in all that we do!

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words- Lessons Learned

This past weekend was our churches annual fundraiser. It is the Christmas in July Arts, Crafts and Vendors fair held every year at the Recreation Center here in Greensburg. It is always one of those things you look forward to, but at the same time dread because it can be a lot of work. But we do it because it is for a good cause and it is always fun once you get there and get started. This year our church hosted about 35 vendors, we always try and keep everyone in the spirit of things, by playing Christmas music, and I sit at the door and wish everyone Merry Christmas. I also invite the guest attending to sign up for door prizes that we draw every hour and I serve as the general information person for the vendors as well.

 

This isn’t my first Rodeo with something like this. I served on the De Soto Days Festival Committee for probably 10yrs, where we previously lived, and I ultimately ended up chairing the Committee for the Annual City-Wide event.  This event welcomed some five thousand people to our community for a weekend of fun, from a carnival, to food & craft vendors, a car show, a parade and a live band every night. But beside the committee of volunteers that helped with this annual event, I could of not done any of this without my family.

 

See one thing, we have tried to instill in our family was the fact we are a team. That means whatever one person is doing the rest support them and by support I mean gets in and helps, shows up, whatever it takes. So because of that, my kids grew up at events like this. I dare say, they even looked forward to it. Something like this required our family to stay at the event almost 24 hours a day for 3 days straight.  My last 2 kids who were still at home then, must of been about 8 and 10 or so years old when we started serving our community in that way, back then. So none of this is a strange to them. They are almost 21 and 23 now.

 

But honestly, with the kids off to college these past 4 or 5 yrs. Things have been shaken up a bit at our house and well, lets just say it isn’t as much fun doing events without our whole gang around all the time. So needless to say, nothing thrilled me more then having my kids at the event this year. I had a proud momma moment this weekend, I had to step away from the information table for a minute and ask my two youngest to watch it for me. Since were at the table while I was sitting there.

 

As I was away from the table I looked over and out of the corner of my eye I saw both my kids, assisting guests, helping vendors, they looked so grown up and were acting so professional. I just watched for a little bit and I can’t tell you the pride that swelled inside my heart. Oh! Not that I really felt like I have done anything. See, I was happy because my kids had learned how to treat people with respect and handle situations in a professional manner. They have become such great adults. I literally had the thought, well I can die now my children can make it without me. Now, mind you I have never sat my kids down and given them the 5 lessons on how to run a Arts and Crafts Fair, but they learned by watching their father and myself. They have worked along side their father and I at events for years and saw how we have handled different situations at times like this. They have help carry more tables and showed vendors to their booths then most kids their age.

 

The truth is, there is so much more I hope my kids to have learned from me. Because ultimately, what they have learned in my event planning career is not important, it will not give them anything eternal because teaching our kids to live with an eternal purpose, and introducing them to a real relationship with God, is the ultimately the most important thing we can teach our children. Proverbs says in chapter 22 verse 6 says “ Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

 

Our children are watching us all the time. What we accept they will accept and even take it to the next level. They will push the boundaries of what we have condoned to the edge. So the question is what are we teaching our kids just by our actions? It is the subliminal messages we send to them by doing what we do everyday without even thinking about it. The products we buy, the places we go and the type of people we hang out with. All teaches our children what is acceptable and what they should do. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV says….. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

If we don’t make going to church a priority we should not be surprised if our kids don’t attend when they get older either. If they don’t see us praying and reading our bibles, they aren’t going to. If they don’t see us making God’s word a guide of how we live our lives they won’t either.

 

So, what are you teaching your kids? Or maybe you are like me and your kids are already grown and out or almost out of the house. Is there something you need to go back an apologize to your kids for?  Is there something you need to encourage them to do that you realize now you could’ve done better?

 

It is never wrong to admit to our kids we messed up. As each of us get older, we often realize we have made some mistakes, we see our kids often reflect the worst habits that we have instead of the best. And if we ever think that we can tell our kids one thing and do another. We are simply fooling ourselves. We need to live what we want our kids to learn, and that also means we need to spend time with our kids, all to often in this day and age, everyone else is raising our kids but us. Teachers, Coaches, have all been left to babysit our children instead of us choosing to raise our children ourselves.

 

What we have to remember is God gave our children to us, to raise, not someone else and when we stand before Him on that final judgment day- You can be rest assured we will be held accountable for what we taught our children or what we haven’t. So, lets make sure, from now on our actions are speaking as loud as our words because trust me, they are watching. The question is, are we listening to what we are teaching them. Because, this life will soon be passed, but only what’s done for Christ will last!

I Wish I had Her Life……..

I Wish I had Her Life……..

Well for the first time,  it happened to me I have heard other people talk about doing it, but the other day it happened to me…. I was scrolling through facebook and saw a friend of mine and thought, “ I wish I had her life!” and as soon as I thought it, it was as if the Lord said to me. You don’t know the tears she has cried.

 

Have you ever just looked at someone else’s life, and thought…. “I want their life! They never seem to have any problems, their world is perfect” Well, first off what you need to remember is, Their life is not without worries, or chaos, they cry at night when they go to bed or worry about their family just like you do. Why? BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS and it doesn’t matter how big your problems are, when it is your problem it is HUGE to you.   

 

Often times, we look at someone else’s life and think,  “The grass is greener over there”, and if we only knew what their water bill cost to get it that way, we might reconsider our “Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”  philosophy.

 

But why is it that some people never act like they have any problems while others lives seem to be consumed with them? Well, I think some people have learned the secret.                       
They have just chosen NOT to post their struggles and complaints all over the inter web and or be Negative Nancy when you see them on the street. Perhaps they choose to take their concerns to God as we all need to do.                                                                                          

 

Satan wants us to be so focus on ourselves that we can’t see the issues of everyone else around us. See that way, we can’t follow what God’s word says to do, but I can assure you. There is someone out their that has a problem bigger than yours.

 

I’ll never forget their was a season in my life where I felt very alone, Okay, there have been many of those seasons. But this particular season there was one particular person whose job responsibility in my mind,  should of been to check on me, and she didn’t.

 

I can remember thinking, why isn’t she reaching out to me? Why isn’t she calling and checking on me? I remember thinking maybe I should call her and then I rejected that idea in my head because it wasn’t my job to check on her, it was her job to check on me! At least that is what I justified in my head and why I begin to allow myself to be offended. Which was then snowballed by the fact that I was alone. I soon became so self absorbed I was only focused on myself and my problems.

 

Then about 3 or so years later, I heard that she had been personally dealing with some similar situations I had been almost at the very same time. It was at that point that it hit me! I was so focused on myself I had not even considered she might have been going through something herself, and if I had reached out to her as I had thought about, perhaps we could of helped each other. In fact maybe her struggle was greater than mine. I will never forget how horrible I felt.

 

I will never again get offended when someone doesn’t call me over an extended period of time and just assume they are being rude or mad at me. No! Now my first thought is, I wonder if they are going through something? I think “ I better check on them!”

 

Through the grace of God I had made it through that season of life and that little lesson has kept me from drawing into myself so much.

 

See I had allowed Satan to use my struggles to distract me from reaching out to someone else. I had been so focused on myself I wasn’t even looking at someone else or thinking of anyone else.

 

All too often we fall into our own pit of self pity and discouragement. Often in a hole we dig ourselves because we refuse to look up from ourselves and look at others.  

 

It has been said by doctors and psychologist that the best thing a person who is depressed or in emotional need can do,is reach out and help someone else. But all to often we get sucked down into a self-center pit that quickly spirals out of control.

 

In times like this, we need to remember what 1 Thess 5:11 says, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….. In this passage Paul is giving us final instructions for the days before the Lord’s return. He tells us to not forget to hold on to faith, hope and love because that is our salvation from our troubles. Paul, urges us to encourage one another in faith, hope and love. He warns us that, some are going to be in darkness, or deceived and he tells us not to be sucked into that path but hold fast to what we know and to encourage one another in that!

 

So this week, as you go about your day be sure to look outside yourself. Don’t be deceived and sucked into the idea it is all about you. If we look hard enough there is always someone who has problems bigger than you do. Find someone who needs an encouraging word. Be someone else’s miracle, while you are still looking for your own.  God’s word clearly calls us to encourage one another because when realize the only real hope we have is in our faith and trust in the Lord. We won’t be seeking consolement from everyone else, because we will be too focused being the hands and feet of the one who has given so much for us, Jesus Christ.

Stop Scrolling and Start Living! Satellite TV & Wasting Time!

Stop Scrolling and Start Living! Satellite TV & Wasting Time!

Because of where my family lives,  we have to have satellite TV, if we want any reception at all. There is no option for cable, or even an antenna,  it is satellite or nothing and since I would go stark raving mad if all I did was sit around listening to my own thoughts in my head everyday. We pay for satellite. Oh! We could do some of the options on the internet that are out there but I like to watch current shows, I am don’t like to watch pre-recorded shows unless I am the one recording them. (Remember my story on I don’t like Re-runs?)

 

So the satellite network we subscribe to, allows for 4 different profiles. Because although we pay for a couple hundred channels. We actually only watch a fraction of them. And me being the good mother that I am, and perhaps the only one that cares in my family. I have been gracious enough to go into our satellite account and create different profiles.

 

I have a profile for just the movie channels we watch, Hallmark is my favorite by the way.  I have a profile for sports for my husband and his western shows he so dearly loves, I have a profile for the nature and hunting channels that my son likes to watch. Then, there are the channels that I love, those are the ones that have anything to do with cooking, & decorating.

 

I do this because in our package we pay for there is multiple channels that are spanish speaking, and although I our love our mexican brothers and sisters, I can’t speak their language so it does me no good to watch those channels. Then, there is the hockey channels and baseball channels, which no one in our family watches. Oh! And we can’t forget those shopping channels that I am not for sure anyone should watch.

 

So you can see why this is such a good deed that I have done. Now my family doesn’t have to scroll over all those channels we will never watch when searching for something to watch. I have eliminated all of these things my family doesnt need.  I do this out of the kindness of my heart, because when we are scrolling through the guide, who wants to have to scroll through things they aren’t even interested in or relevant to them. When we have to do that, it take as much time to find something to watch, as it does to watch it. I mean who wants to have to dig through junk to get to what they are looking for? It is such a waste of time.

 

But for some reason occasionally, I find the TV put back on, the “All Subscribed Channels” profile.  Which is a huge frustration to me. See, I don’t see why anyone would want to look through all those channels that they aren’t even interested in, to search for something that is worthy of their time, when they have been clearly given optimal choices in the profiles section.

 

But in the same breath I don’t know why people look everywhere for peace and contentment when they have been given that gift by Christ already.  Looking for that, is like my family scrolling through the all the channels on our satellite, having to pass through all the junk that we have no interest in, could care less about and in most cases have no business watching.  It is such a waste of time.

 

People everyday are looking for that unconditional love in everything but where it comes from. They look for it in multiple sexual partners, in over drinking, overeating, drugs, they look into black magic and sometimes even in their work. We gossip about our neighbors to make us feel better about ourselves or strive in ourselves to be perfect only to be disappointed when we can’t meet that unachievable standard. We often do anything but what God has told us to do.

 

The bible says, in Deut 30:19 …….I set before life and death, blessing and cursings, now choose life…….. It is that simple, just like I have set before my family good choices on our satellite profiles and I have weeded through the junk that isn’t relevant to them. So has God set before us choices everyday. Sure there is always going to be the good and the bad, the right and the wrong for us to choose from but God’s word also promises that in 1 Cor 10:13…….God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure…. .

 

I wonder if God gets as frustrated with us as I do with my family. I have laid out the best plan. Given them good choices and laid it before them. But they don’t always choose to follow my plan. Just like we don’t always follow God’s.

 

Now my family isn’t going to die and go to hell because they choose to waste all that time finding what they are looking for, but we will die and go to hell, if we don’t choose God and even if we finally decide to choose Him we often take so long to make that choice.  We lose so much opportunity to tell others about this unconditional love that Christ gives us. The sooner we submit our will to His. The sooner we choose to make the right choice. We can share this amazing love with others and we all know someone who needs to know they are loved by the creator of the universe and He has a great plan for their life?

 

The bible tells us that he that knows to do good and doesn’t do it to him it is sin.  James 4:17

 

So the bottom line is which choice will we make? Will we waste time like some of my family chooses to do. See, the only difference is,  taking forever to find a TV show to watch isn’t as detrimental to our life as taking forever to follow Jesus.

 

The choice is yours and the right choice is always following Jesus.

So find a church home, get in a small group to learn more about God’s word. Pull out your bible, computer or phone and download sites like You Version or Bible gateway. Read God’s word and learn it!  Make the right choices today and skip the junk! It is time to stop wasting time and do what we know is right to do!

A Way that Seems Right!

A Way that Seems Right!

When I was a little girl one of the my favorite things to do was play with my Barbie Dolls. In fact, I remember having the whole basement set up as my very own Barbie town. Being raised as an only child, my parents pretty much allocated the whole basement for me to play in.

 

One corner was a semi finished room that I had chairs facing a desk with a chalkboard hanging on the wall behind the desk. That was my school room. I went in there and pretended to be a teacher with my imaginary class full of students.

 

But my favorite thing to do was play in my Barbie town. It included a Barbie townhouse, Barbie boat house, along with a Barbie pool and that isn’t even counting the end tables and coffee tables I turned into houses for my dolls..   

 

Along with store bought furniture in my barbies home, the majority of furniture was homemade by my mom out of egg cartons, cotton stuffing and material.  Just about anything we could think of we would use for their house, the lid off a hairspray can became an end table or footstool. We were always creating something for my barbies homes.  I had several barbie families that lived in the little town I created.

 

But even at the young age I was, there was one thing that was certain, my Barbie and Ken dolls never lived together until they were married,  and to be married, my dad being the minister that he was, had to perform the ceremony. Because I was taught at a young age, that living together before you are married goes against what God word says. So I even made my daddy married our full blooded dachshund dog before I would let him breed with another dog. I took it that seriously. But at eight years old what do you expect!

 

All this got me thinking? Will my grands and their children have the same morals and values? In the society we live into today, where it is almost common place to live together before you are married I am worried they will not take what God’s word says seriously. Oh! I don’t mean that they need to have their dogs and dolls married. But by my parents instilling in me at such a young age of right from wrong. It was my choice to blanket that decision in every area of my life.

 

What worries me, is just how much instilling of right from wrong is the next generation getting in this country? My parents sat down with me at taught me God’s word. They didn’t condemn others when they made mistakes but used it as a learning opportunity for me to teach me what God’s word said and realizing that word was the ultimate authority in our life choices.

 

Proverbs 14:12  says “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death”  We seem to think that God wants to just keep us from having fun or doing what we want. But the bottom line is that God wants to keep us from hurt and pain.

 

We justify our idea of living together before we are married because we say that, it is a better way. We use it as an insurance policy to assure we won’t get divorced later. Which is an understandable concern in this country where there is a 50 percent divorce rate. That theory might have some relevance if the statics agreed,  but the truth is statistics say:

 

Those who DID NOT live together before marriage

83% were still together after 10 yrs and 68% were still together after 20yrs.

Those who DID live together before marriage:

Only 71% were still together after 10yrs and 51% were still together after 20yrs.

So you have a 17% less chance of staying together after 20 yrs if you live together first compared to someone that doesn’t.

 

Only 1 in 5 couples who live together make it past 7yrs. And now they have a lifetime of memories with someone else.

 

So I have to wonder why would people do it? Are we so blinded to the facts or is it just that we refuse to die to our own wills and desires until the appropriate time? I had a conversation with a young man not to long ago who asked me to tell him where God says in His word that premarital sex is wrong. To which I informed him the word fornication is premarital sex in the bible and yet this man refused to accept it because he wanted to see the actual word “premarital” in the bible?

 

How can any of us even begin to live a life, let alone for Christ if we have to have everything our own way. I mean in this life there are things as adults and even children that we have to do, when we don’t want to, and it seemed this young man wanted it his way or he refused to believe.  

 

I don’t believe our country has a sex traffic issue, gun issue, a bullying issue, a racist issue, or crime issues, our country has a heart issue.

 

Matthew 15:19 says “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

 

See even as a little girl I was taught early on that I couldn’t get everything I wanted, I was taught  I had to wait for even the little things. Oh! I may of had a Barbie town, but this girl got only 2 pairs of dress shoes a year as a little girl. A white pair for summer and a black pair for winter.  It created in me a discipled to wait, even the creating our own doll furniture taught me to deny myself.

 

In the society today I don’t see a whole lot of anyone giving up their wills to what God’s word says is right. Most live by the statement  “If it feels good do it!”

 

But remember what Proverbs 14:12  says “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death”  

God is warning us here, not to rely on ourselves but listen to Him, learn His word, hide it in our hearts that we might not sin against it. Attend a church where you can be taught to understand it. See, God is the only one that has already seen what is ahead for us and He so desperately wants to guide us from harm. He gives us a choice so the question is what will you choose today? The way that leads to death? (Oh! It may not be a physical death but it is the death of many hopes and dreams) Or will you choose God’s way? Because trust me, the choice is yours and it is never too late to turn around and start over again.

The Best is Yet to Come

The Best is Yet to Come

On June 9th 2013 my world was turning upside down, my oldest son was getting married, while at the same time we were preparing to move from our home of 14yrs, the only real home I had ever known, our daughter was graduating high school, our youngest was learning to drive, that along with about 10 other major life events, were happening in our lives, all at once. So to say the least, I was a tad bit overwhelmed.

 

I think one of the things I remember most about Lee’s wedding was trying to find places to slip away and cry before anyone saw me. Maybe, it was the fact that my momma, who adored Lee was unable to come, knowing she would want to be there more than anything and realizing she wasn’t going to be around much longer was almost more than this girl could stand. Coupled with trying to access my new duties as a mother-in-law. Let’s just say I was pretty heartbroken and uncertain of so much..

 

But fast forward 5 years to the day and guess what this girl was doing? She was hanging out with her first grandson and namesake to her husband. If you don’t think that was special then you obviously don’t have grandchildren. It is the first time our little man has gotten to spend the night at Mimi and Poppy’s all by himself. His parents were celebrating their anniversary and his siblings was hanging out with other family members. So we had him all to ourselves and since this guy lives four and a half hours away we relish every minute we get with him. So,  needless to say, I wasn’t feeling heartbroken or miserable anymore.

 

I was feeling blessed at the hope of the future as I looked into the eyes of that little fellow. My heart leaped with joy when he at 2 yrs old, mumbled out as best he could “ I love Mimi” when his Poppy asked him to say “I love Poppy”. I was reminded that God does answer prayer as we watched him play and catch bubbles in the air as we blew them.

 

All this got me thinking? Doesn’t things like that happen, a lot to most of us? I mean how many times do we feel lost or hopeless only to have in a few weeks, months, or maybe even years later, our feelings and emotions are completely the opposite. Sometimes about the same thing.

 

God reminds us that our feelings are fleeting and that for everything there is a season. In Ecclesiastes 31 verses 1-8 it tells us.

 

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.”

 

I think in short that means don’t give up hope.  Because we also know the bible says that in this world we will have trouble. (John 16:33) and it says, that God has a plan for our life and that plan is for good and not to harm. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

So when we get overwhelmed with this life, when we feel like everything we hold dear  is falling apart. When nothing we planned is going our way. How about we remember this? God said, It will be okay! Oh, not exactly in those words but I think that is what He means. So trust Him, don’t give up, tie a knot at the end of the rope and hold on cause, the best is really yet to come!  

 

Which Girl are You?

Which Girl are You?

This past week I did something I haven’t done since the summer of 1991. I walked out of a cabin and at the same time, a friend walked out of the cabin right next to me. My mind flashed back to the first time she and I met. We were both scared young pastor’s wives who because of the position of our husbands, (or lack thereof)  were throw into circumstances we would never chosen on our own.

We were at Junior Camp! Now Junior Camp is a camp that happens once a year just outside Wichita. It is where all Kansas Assembly of God Churches send their kids for a week of spiritual renewal or what some might refer to it as Klingon Camp. Because kids ages 9-13 away from home for the first time, just might kling on to you as a camp counselor.

She and I first met walking out of our separate cabins and frankly, we were probably more scared than the kids. I am still not for sure if I was more scared of the primitive lodging or the fact I had to not only coral 15 girls for a week, but participate in outdoor sports, and don’t even get me started about what the bathrooms looked like. See for this girl, who considers roughing it going to a hotel without room service,  you might as well have dropped me off in the middle of the forest, like one of those TV shows that gives you a week to find your way home.

But this year, my friend and I were not at Wheat State Camp outside Wichita,  we were at Woodston camp, which is known for being a much more primitive camp. When we walked out of our cabins that first time, and met each other this year, we were not staying in the non-air conditioned/bunk bed cabins, where we shared the bathrooms with probably 100 other people at the end of the building.

No! This week things were totally different than they were so many years ago when She and I first met. This year, we stayed in new cabins with private baths, with air conditioning, carpet on the floor and nice queen size beds. This year we were not scared young pastor’s wives. This year her husband is now the District Superintendent of the Kansas Assemblies of God which in layman terms means he is the Pastor the all the AG Pastors in the state of Kansas and my husband serves on the Presbyter Board or in layman’s terms he is on the Board of Directors for the state of Kansas Assemblies of God and this year both of our husbands were speaking at this camp.

I couldn’t help but think of the difference in the girl that walked out my cabin door this past week compared to the one all those years ago. She has had so much happen over the years. That girl that walked out of the cabin all those years ago would of been impressed with the woman that walked out of those cabins doors this past week,  That girl would of thought these women have it all together and their lives must be of always have been perfect and full of peace and fulfillment. That girl would of desired to be who those woman are today. But that girl didn’t know what it took for this girl to become who she is today. This girl, isn’t the same girl that hid in the corner of the tabernacle at camp and cried her eyes out because she was so scared and knew she just wasn’t as smart and pretty as all her counterparts on the other side of those walls. This was not the same girl who had panic and anxiety attacks every time she went to a state event.

My friend and I reminisce about all the water that has went under the bridge in the time we have know each other. Some of the water was smooth sailing, some was pretty rocky and felt more like white river rafting, while others were more like babbling brooks.

See not only has our husbands positions changed, but we as woman have changed. I am not the same person I was back then. Oh! The changes are more than the weight I have gained, the wrinkles on my face or the silver streaks in my hair. I have changed because of the challenges I have face.  See, all those tears I have cried has made me stronger. I have faced obstacles both personal, physically and spiritually. I have faced rejection and victories, I have seen God’s hand at work in all of it.

It is those trials and tribulations that gives me the strength to do what I do today. See because I have made it through those test and I have come out on the other side. No! Not everyone of the outcomes was what I expected, in fact most were not what I had wanted or planned, I’ve been homeless, lost loved ones, lost friends, had failed ministries, been rejected by God’s people, family and friends. I had the rug pulled out from under me. I’ve made some really stupid mistakes, and faced challenges with our kids, cared for a handicapped mother and watched her die before my eyes. My marriage has struggled, and dealt with infertility..

My successes have been few and far between, but I count the most important ones as the children I have had, and the grandchildren added to my clan. But none if it is worth anything if my children have not caught the joy of living for Christ. See because they have seen my life and the challenges I have faced they have also seen the hand of God come along side and sometime even pick me up and carry me. They have seen the miracles He has performed in our lives, the checks that came in the mail, the doors that have open for us, the gifts He has given us. Time and time again God has shown up!

See this girl who used to strive for a title now, is no longer impressed with peoples status. She is more about where people’s hearts are, she is more about being who God has called her to be.

She is thankful for all that she has went through because it has given her the ability now, to look back and say….. “Bring it on devil, Do you see where God has brought me from?”. “If He can do that, My God can do anything!”, ”You can’t mess with me satan because my daddy is the King” , “Whatever comes my way, my God will take care of me”

So this girl now refuses to hide in corners and cry her eyes out. She refuses to allow man to define her. She stopped listening to those negative voices in her head, she now knows whose she is because her daddy God has showed up time and time again to rescue her. She is not the fear driven, people pleasing, person she was all those years ago, intimidated by everyone and everything. No! This girl has experienced the unconditional irrefutable love of God, not because He gave her everything she ever wanted but because He taught her that God’s word says “ I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. This girl knows that she can be content when things don’t happen the way she planned because it must mean that God has a better plan. (notice I didn’t say easier one?)

This girl also knows, what Deuteronomy 31:6 says,  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” See that girl knew what it said all those years ago, but until she experienced it she didn’t have to assurance that it was true.

This girl has had to learn to give up her will and follow after God. This girl has realized that He is not a God sitting up in heaven like the arcade game, whack-a-mole, with a big stick just waiting for me to mess up, so He can hit me over the head..  He is actually a loving God trying to direct my paths, because He knows the way that I need to go, He has been in the future and He knows my past, while at the same time He is my very present help in time of trouble.( See Psalms 46:1)

This girl who lived all her life in a church full of condemnation, religiosity, in fear and intrepidation. Learned that there is a loving God who is up their with arms outstretched bidding for me to come to Him, asking for me to trust Him, telling me that I am His child and He will take care of me I have nothing to fear. He reminds me I only need the approval of the audience of one and that is Him. That no matter what those around me think or do I am safe in His arms and if I will only strive to please Him, He will carry me through. He reminds me that, He is not half as hard on me as I am on myself. He tells me I am complete in Him and because of that, I now walk with my head lifted up, no longer ashamed or in fear. I have straighten my crown that He gave me and smile with confidence of whose I am. Not because of anything I have done, but because of who lives in me and loved me so much He gave His life for me.  So the question today is, Which girl are you?