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.