I Hate Reruns!

I Hate Reruns!

I hate reruns! And I don’t mean just a little bit. There is almost a cold chill that runs down my spine like someone scraping their nails on a chalkboard kind of feeling I get if I have to watch a T.V show or movie more than once. There is also something that just gets under my skin about watching old shows or movies, even though I have never seen them before. I guess I  feel like I am missing out on something. To watch an old show,  I have to purposefully put out of my mind the fact it is an older show and pretend, it is new.

My husband loves old Western’s he doesn’t care if he has seen them before or not. He will watch them again and again. He also does that with old football games. He will watch a game he has already seen and knows the outcome of it. The other day we were watching a “Live” football game and some fans in the stands were holding up a banner that said, “National Champs 1996″ to which my husband turns to me and says ” They need to move on” and I replied to him “Oh! this from a man who watches T.V shows made in 1964” We both laughed but it is true.

I am not really for sure why it bothers me so much. My daughter and I have had this conversation a lot recently, it’s a debate over which is best, binge-watching old seasons of TV shows on Netflix or, watching them live on the network, but having to wait from week to week to see them.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the younger generations, they want to wait for the whole season of the show to be completed and a new one come out on network TV while they sit back and watch all of the old seasons a year/season behind on Netflix or Hulu. I don’t know what that says about all of us and I am sure some psychologist could tell us. But I will tell you what I think, For me, I don’t want to look back.
I don’t like looking back at the past mistakes of my life, see because for too long those past mistakes held me hostage. They held me down by depression, discouragements, and anxiety. For a season of my life, they held me captive in my home as I refused to leave it or even answer the phone because I would replay the mistakes I had made over and over in my mind. My mind lived in a state of reruns of my life.  That season taught me I need to keep our eyes on the prize! No runner will tell you they ever ran a race and won looking backward.
A scripture that has helped me more than anything is Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
All too often when we make a mistake, we focus on those mistakes or we allow what someone said to us to hurt us and we believe it as truth when it is a lie. We replay it over and over again. Or a tragedy happens in our lives and we get stuck there. At times we succumb to the lies and the fear,  they begin to take over and suddenly we are allowing our feelings to control us instead of what God’s word says about us. We forget to claim the promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, we forget that His word says He is working all things together for our good.
This reminds me of a person who is walking down the street in the middle of town, they suddenly fall down and trip then fall into a mud puddle. When that happens you don’t lay there and waller in it. No! you pick yourself back up as quickly as possible and you brush yourself off and keep on going, hoping no one noticed. So why when we fall, get knocked down or make a mistake do we get stuck, playing the reruns in our heads? It is the same as if we are laying there and wallering in the mud puddle.
God never intended for us to let circumstances like that keep us down. That is a trick that satan uses to keep us down.  Nothing makes him happier than if he can control our lives with fear, disappointments, and regrets that keep us wallering in the mud puddle.  The thing is God gives us directions because He knew this was gonna happen. He tells us in Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Did you notice that the scripture above Phil 4:6&7 is placed in the bible right before verses 8 and 9? That is intentional you know. That’s because they go together. God calls us to not be anxious about anything. But take our needs to Him in prayer and then focus on what is good and believe what God’s word says and His peace will be with you. ALMV That stands for the Alesa Lewis Miller Version just in case you didn’t know 🙂 I say that jokingly but also seriously because you see I have walked this life and I have been the person in the puddle and I had to pull myself up out of that puddle and wipe myself off and I am telling you that if I can do it you can too!
I am giving you the secret to when life knocks you down or when your world feels like it is crumbling around you.(and it will)  Think on these things. It is not the time to live by feelings, your feelings will lie to you every time and lead you astray but God’s word does not lie God’s word stands.
So this week, turn off the reruns! Keep your eyes on the prize (God’s Word) and dust yourself off don’t allow satan to play this game with you anymore focus on that is good and the peace of God will be with you!
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God’s Got This! (my bodyguard)

If you have seen our family, you know the men in my immediate family consists of 2 sons and 1 husband. You also know that 2 out of 3 of those men are not average size, in fact they range in the 6 foot 2 inches plus,  tall range and lets just say in the 300 pound area, and the other is not wimpy either. So needless to say, when my 5ft 2in frame stands besides these guys they tower over me. In fact I have actually been asked, “Are these your body guards?” (because with their sun glasses on and a stern look on their face they an kind of look that way).

I remember one time when there was a severe thunderstorm happening in our area, at the time we lived about 30 minutes from our church. I had went to the church for a meeting and when my oldest son (about age 16 at the time) heard how bad the weather was going to be he asked his father to get in the car and take him to the church just so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me to drive alone in that weather.

Countless times my 2 big guys have been right there by my side in a crowd or whenever we are out. It isn’t uncommon for them to take my arm, and direct me in a different path because they can see over the crowd and realize there is a better direction I can go or they detour me from danger they see ahead, yet I am blind to, because I can’t see what they can see. They have a much larger perspective than I do.

I can’t tell you the times I have felt comforted when walking down a long narrow scary hall or alley. Just knowing that “My body guards” were with me I didn’t worry. In fact, I walk with my head a little higher and maybe even a little strut in my step.  See, I know these guys will do anything for me. I even believe they would die for me, so know, I have nothing to fear when I am with them. Because I know my guys are watching out for me.

This got me thinking………

How many times do we walk in fear? We come against challenges in our lives or have to step out and do something for God and hesitate because we are scare. When our heavenly body guard is always walking with us.

I think all to often we forget that Christ walks with us wherever we go. He is our body guard and promises to be our ever present help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46)

What could we do for God if we really believed that? If we really took God at His word and when the bill came that we couldn’t pay,  or the call from the doctor came with bad news? Instead of freaking out and being upset.

What if we trusted Him? I think if we really believed what He said, we would simply turn to our “body guard” or fall on our knees and rely on Him to take care of it.

You may be asking what does it mean to trust God?  How can I control the fear and anxiety I feel when it comes over me? You may even believe you can’t do anything different. I want to suggest to you, that next time this happens, begin to quote scriptures of the promises God has given us  (you can google them or look in the back of your bible) when those negative thoughts and feeling of fear overcome you. Turn on some good praise and worship music and sometimes you just need to turn that music up loud and dance through the house and sing it like you believe it. See if satan can keep our thoughts on the negative and everything that is going wrong in our lives, he can keep us in fear and worry.

My dad use to say, you can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from making a nest in your hair.  What that means is you can’t stop those thoughts from coming to you but you can refuse to dwell on it. So replace those thoughts of fear and insecurities with encouraging words and music from what God has promised us because, after all He is your body guard.

So this week as you go about your day, and something happens that causes you to be afraid. Remember your heavenly body guard is with you. He cares about you and wants nothing but the best for you. Trust Him to walk with you in this journey because He can see what is ahead and know He has already given His life for you. Once you have done that, then walk with your head a little higher with a strut in your step! Because, God’s Got This!

 

Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way!

Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way!

Call me a sexist or old fashion, but I think it is the wife’s job to manage the home,  that means cooking, cleaning, scheduling, etc.  Now, before you start sending me any letters and tell me that we don’t live in the 1950’s
anymore. Hear me out, I am not against the man helping around the house and working together with him as a team. But, I believe the ultimate responsibility rest on the wife to make sure that the home is a place of rest and peace
when your family comes home at the end of a long day. Whether that means, doing the work herself, hiring it out or
delegating jobs to the family members. But, typically for most of us it includes, managing those that live in the house by constantly reminding them that, they need to pick up after themselves. If you have kids, then it is our job to raise them to be responsible functioning members of society .

My kids know I am not their slave. My children  know or it might be more correct to say, They have been told, to keep their things picked up. Just because they have been told doesn’t mean they always do it!

After returning home last week from being gone for a month, taking care of my son’s family because his wife has been sick. Needless to say, when I returned to my home the house wasn’t exactly up to my standards, which I
competently understand  since I had left my husband and son here by themselves and truly didn’t expect it to be. I mean it is one thing for me to come home and find some dirty dishes in the sink or dusting to be done. But the welding mask under the end table and the fishing pole and guns left in the living room was totally unacceptable. I wasn’t having any of this outdoor equipment in my living room.  When the young man that did it knows, how I feel about those things. He has a room and garage to keep that stuff in. There is no and I repeat NO need to have any of it in my living room area. I kept my cool for the first few days, asking nicely for things to be returned to their rightful place. But, after repeatedly asking my son to get his fishing pole out of our living area, I just decided to do what I have done for years when my children do not pick up their things after being asked.

See, when my children were much younger, they knew they needed to keep the living area’s for our home picked up and presentable. I have always let them live pretty much how ever they want in their bedrooms, but the shared
living areas with us and possible guests need to be kept pretty much immaculate or what I like to call “Model Home Status” I guess being raised in a minister’s home and expecting company at any time and knowing that
that company was like your father’s employer makes one be a little more nervous about what your home looks like. Plus, it isn’t uncommon for us to have unexpected guest that might end up staying for dinner or even have to
spend the night. So, I was simply raised with the fact your home and yourself must be presentable for guest at all times. Because sometimes living Behind the Parsonage Walls, can feel like living in a fish
bowl.

When my kids were growing up. They learned quickly that mom isn’t going to pick up after them. If they valued something then they needed to keep it picked up and put away, if they weren’t playing with it. Otherwise, if I
told them to pick it up and they didn’t’ I simply went and got a black trash bag and started throwing there stuff away. Now, don’t think I am “That Stupid”  I didn’t actually trash the expensive toys I or someone else
had bought for them. Nope! But they didn’t know that,  all they knew was it was going out to the garage to be put out by the curb the next trash day.

But the truth is, I would go out there weeks later, see if there was something of value in the bag and either reintegrate it back in my children’s toy box without them knowing it or give it away to some deserving kid if mine had out grown it. They still know to this day, if they don’t keep their things picked up out of our common living spaces I
will throw them out. Oh! Not in the trash anymore. I just throw it out the back door.  My son has more than once had to walk out in the snow to get his size 16 men’s shoes he left in the middle of the living room floor,
because anything that big is a tripping hazard anyway!

So, as you can imagine after a couple times of asking for a certain fishing pole to be removed from my living room when I returned home and it wasn’t, the same faint happened to his fishing pole. Well almost……you see in my
anger and yes I was angry! I sorta forgot about the hook on the end of that pole and it wasn’t just a single hook but a 3 prong one. So ,when I slung that pole out the back door, You guessed it! One of those hooks got stuck
in my hand. Wow! all of the sudden I wasn’t angry anymore and as I called for help,  Chad came out of the garage door to see the blood dripping from my hand. His eyes sunk, he knew exactly what happened. I could tell he felt
terrible.

And this got me thinking……….
Isn’t that just like us sometimes. We get all upset because we don’t get the answer we want or God doesn’t answer us when we expect Him to.  So, we get in all this fear and decide to take matters into our own hands and do
something about it ourselves and that is usually when we make our biggest mistakes. Then, like Chad, Christ doesn’t come and say I knew you were going to do this, Christ doesn’t reprimand us or make fun of us for the
mistakes we make. He just looks at us.   I imagine with this huge disappointed look on His face,  just like Chad looked at me with huge concerned in his eyes thinking. ” I was going to do it in MY time” couldn’t
you have just waited?

See, Christ isn’t there to beat us up or tell us “He told us so”  Yes, there our consequences at times when we make bad choices just as there were for me. But Christ loves us and like Chad, would do anything in the world
for me, Christ loves us too and gave His life for us, He has a plan for us also. It just isn’t always in our timing.

You know the protocol son had a similar problem in the bible he couldn’t wait for his dad to die so he
could get all his inheritance. So he asked his dad for it early and decided to go out
and live his life as he chose. Making one mistake after another. Fulfilling his own wants and dreams. Never considering what the long term consequences of his choices would be. You can read the whole story in
the book of Luke Chapter 15 and it starts at verse 11

We do that today, don’t we. We don’t like how our life is going or we don’t get exactly what we want, when we want it and there we go, off doing our own thing. with no regard to what Christ has done for us or wants for us.
We forget that we could refer to the maker of the universe who knows the past, present and future, who could give us direction and advice for the best plans for our lives. But instead we want it our way. Whether you call
yourself a follower of Christ or you simply are checking out these claims of Christ. We all are guilty of wanting our own way at least some of the time. We don’t like being told no or wait a little while. More accurately, we don’t trust Him to do it we are unwilling to wait for the answer in His time. We want OUR way and
we want it now!

If I had been more patient and waited for Chad knowing he had, had a busy weekend and would get to it. I would not of ended up in the ER with a bill I didn’t need and a bandage on my hand along with and evening wasted. Oh! and a really sore arm because those tetanus shots hurt!

I am so thankful that just like the father of the protocol son who welcomed his son home, with open arms. So does our Heavenly Father! His love for us is unconditional it doesn’t matter how many times we mess up. His love is
unexplainable and it is because of the very fact that He loves us so much that we need to trust Him more. We need to die to our own desires and trust the one who loves us unconditionally!

The choice is ours, Will we trust Christ? Will we wait Patiently? Will we accept His forgiveness and understanding when we mess up? Will we refuse to beat ourselves up for what mistakes we have made?  I urge you to accept His
love and trust Him today. Don’t let any mistake you have made keep you from knowing that you can start all over again and be welcomed into the family of God.

So close we can’t see

You know being raised in a ministers home and now being married to a minister, I have lived all over the country and each place my husband and I have lived, we have always made a point to get out and learn about the community. We always go see the sights. Sometimes we will just get in the car and drive, then stop in at the first little place we come up on and check it out,  we have been known to spend  the whole day just walking through a town and visiting every business. One of our favorite things to do is check out the local restaurants so we can experience the local cuisine, we may all be american’s, but there is definitely a difference in how and what we eat. From the seafood and down home cooking of the south to the fresh beef, sandwich spread and sauerkraut of the mid-west. One of our favorite things to do is go to those little, as some would say “hole in the wall” restaurants and experience the atmosphere of the community. Another fun thing that we feel helps us learn about our new community is check out the local museums and tourist locations in the area just to help us experience what others who have lived here for years or maybe even all their lives, already know.

We are always excited to share what we have learned with our present congregation where we are living.  Excitedly and almost proudly we share our recently new found knowledge and more often than not we are met with a “deer in headlights” kind of looks, even from prominent people in the community who should be aware of what is going on in their town and surrounding areas.  It seems to us more often then not, people who have lived in the same town for a long-time tend not to really actually know about the area they live. They are content to be in their own little world, mainly their home and work, without ever experiencing all that is available to them. They are so close they don’t even see what they have at their disposal.

This got me thinking……….

It seems to me that most people fall into the trap of just living their life, unconcerned about everything around them and all that it has to offer, or better yet, what they could offer to it. They have what some would call tunnel vision and I am not just talking about restaurants and museums I am talking about. The needs of others, or the very need in our own soul to grown deeper in a relationship with Christ. Perhaps we were raised in church and it is “just what you do” instead of it “being who you are” perhaps people know you go to church but they don’t see the loving, forgiving spirit that God gives us everyday,  in you. Often, we are so consumed with our daily to-do lists just to survive, we are forgetting what God has really called us to do. Oh! I have heard all my life, excuses like “Well, it’s just not in my nature to talk to people about God, I am not as out going as you” or “Its not my personality to raise my hands or clap in church” and you know I have really thought about this, and it was like the Lord said to me one day “They are right” “It is not their nature to do those things, because sin is the root of our nature.” It is only when we follow Christ we learn to die to our self and in the same way we turn away from sin, we also have to choose to turn and do the right thing. Even if that means we have to step outside our comfort zone. Because truth is our comfort zone is probably more on the selfish side then it is on the Godly side.

See God cares enough that He not only knows all the good places to eat in town, but He also knows your favorite food. 🙂 Seriously though, He does knows every hair on your head and knew every time you would say or do something to hurt Him and yet He still gave His life for you. He wasn’t inward focused but He was outward driven, driven so much that even though He did not want to hang on a cross where nails would be hammered into his feet and hands, where He would be stripped naked and beaten for you and me, even though He didn’t “feel” like going through all that, He did it anyway for you and me. (see Matt 26:39 & Luke 22:42 ) He loved us enough! He cared for us enough! That He left the comforts and home of heaven above and gave His life for you and me. So don’t you think you and I can step out of our comfort zone, can’t we look beyond ourselves, get involved in our community, reach out to our neighbors that live around us and most importantly, give Him ALL the praise and glory He deserves?Let’s not be so close, that we can’t see what is right in front of us.

I am Here, Keep Walking!

I am Here, Keep Walking!

Chad about 4 yrs old.

I am Here, Keep Walking!

Have you ever wondered, “Where did the time go!”? That is what I was wondering, the morning my youngest started his first year of college. Oh, I was good. I wasn’t going to cry! I was prepared, and, actually, kinda happy that I was so close to the empty-nest season of my life.

 

In the weeks prior to this day, I had kept warding off all my son’s questions because they made me realize he was not alone in being scared about this new adventure. I had discounted his comments, indicating hesitation about the subjects he has struggled with. However, down deep inside there was fear and anxiety concerning what the future would hold for my struggling learner with severe dyslexia, who is also somewhere on the autism spectrum.  How would he handle a full day of classes, then head to work for four hours, and still try to get everything else done?
But I was good. I kept reminding myself, “It’s going to be OK. God’s got this!” But deep, deep, deep down under, somewhere by my gizzard, I still felt that little flicker of fear for him; and his constant hesitation was not helping me build my faith! Still, I was determined to put on a brave face, even though the unknown was still so unclear.
And now, it was the morning he was heading out. I opened up my Facebook page as his breakfast cooked and he finished getting dressed for his first day of classes. Then, Then, It Happened; and I just had to ask, “How did Facebook know that he starts his freshman year of college today? Why was this picture (see picture above) the first picture I saw in my memory box? Why did every post in my memories box today talk about how we are to be looking ahead, forgetting the past, trusting God? Why did today’s devotional talk about the fact that we don’t always know where we are going, or what we are going to do, until we get our feet where they need to be? Were these accidents? Or appointments with God?

 

I choose to believe it was God. I choose to believe that He loves me enough to remind me that this little guy is in the palm of His hand and as much as I love Him, God loves him more.

See, this isn’t the first time God has showed up – for us, or for others. One of my favorite parts of the Bible includes the stories surrounding the birth of Jesus and the early years of His life. Maybe it’s the fact that I am a mom, and I am always looking for direction from God so that I am in His will when it comes to guiding my children, that I relate so well to these stories.
Think about it.  An angel shows up to tell a virgin girl that she is going to be pregnant. And just when she is thinking there is a strong possibility that she will be killed for her “sin” of being pregnant out of wedlock, the angel shows up on the other side of town to confirm to Joseph the truth that she is still a virgin, and this is a God-thing!
Now fast forward. When Mary goes to her cousin’s home for shelter from the gossip, the first time these ladies are together there, Elizabeth’s baby leaps within her. Neither Mary nor Elizabeth had any idea, at the time, how their two sons would be joined together in the future, but God did! And He was reminding these ladies that He had a plan, and they were to just keep walking in it.
Then came Jesus’ birth, after a long, tiring ride on a donkey, who knows how many hours of labor, and in a barn no less!  Perhaps Mary and Joseph were questioning even more, “How did this happen? Is this really the Son of God? What are we going to do next?” Out of the blue, some angels show up, along with some shepherds to worship Jesus! Then, when Jesus was about two years old, three kings appear with gifts, to worship Him as their King! Somehow, I have a feeling Mary wasn’t feeling like the mother of a King that day! Sometime later, Joseph and Mary are told to run away with Jesus in the middle of the night to save his life. And every mother of a two year old will tell you that, at one time or another, she needed some confirmation that God is in control.
There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that tells me for sure they were thinking these things, but if these people were human, just like you and me (and they were), I have to believe that if I sometimes have doubts and fears, they could have them as well! If I needed that song on the radio at just the right time to encourage me, couldn’t God provide an angel to show up for them? Or, if I need a financial miracle in my life, or just a reminder when life gets hard and I begin to question, “did I really hear God?” (like when He told me to pick up my family and move for Him!) If God can show up with a unexpected check in my mailbox, or a post on my Facebook, can’t God show up at His Son’s house with a few kings and some treasures?
See, God doesn’t change. He is still working in all of our lives. His methods may have changed a little with the inventions of electronics, but God still hears every cry, knows every fear, and is watching over His children.
My point is that He loves and cares about us enough to show up! He shows up every day if we are only looking for Him. That is why, no matter the fear or anxiety that comes (to either of us), there will be NO dancing with the devil on this first day of college! We speak LIFE and are excited about what God has planned for this man! We will not look back, but we look forward to the things that God has in store! Today we choose to TRUST instead of FEAR. Even though we do not know what the future holds, we know who holds the future!
Ask God to show up for you today! Perhaps, you are like me and can look back over the years and see where God was faithful even with the little things. If you ask, I promise you will see. Just open up your spirit eyes and look for those ever so small, but ever so special, reassuring gestures, when we hear God whisper in our ears, “I am here, keep walking!”

Let them all Die and Go to Hell, I Don’t Care!! (but I should)

Let them all Die and Go to Hell, I Don’t Care!! (but I should)

girl-864392_1280Most people would never guess this about me, but I am shy. Oh, you don’t see it when I am in a crowd laughing, smiling, and cutting up with others!  But I am. No one feels the heart palpitations I feel before walking into a group of people. No one else knows the anxiety that rises up when I know I have to meet people. And, no one else but me can sense the fear I feel when I have to talk to someone. It often seems like the smaller the crowd the more anxiety! And, it has really risen since I have moved to a smaller town.  As soon as I walk out my front door, I feel all eyes are on me. No one, except for my immediate family, knows it takes everything within me to get out of my house and simply go shopping in this small town where I live.

 

Very few people know that the reason I have such big parties and invite so many people is not that I am such an amazing hostess; it is because my husband’s job calls for us to be sociable. However, it literally terrifies me to talk one-on-one to most people. So by entertaining several couples or large crowds, I just become the hostess; serving, while the group holds a conversation.

 

I have literally “gone blank” so many times, trying to think of what to ask people or say to someone in order to start a conversation, that, before I go to an event, I have begun to look questions up on the internet, so that I can be a good conversationalist. I have even gone to therapy for this problem!

 

I know most of you who know me will not believe a word of the above statements, but it is honestly something that I deal with on a regular basis and it happened again this weekend. You see, I am adopted and I have known my birth mother and siblings for only about 15 years now. In that time, I have had the opportunity – and pleasure – to attend about three reunions. Yesterday was one of these occasions, and as always my mind went whizzing with the same fears that hit me before any group event. What will I say? What will they think of me? How do I look? Will they like me? What if we have nothing to say to each other? On and on my mind will roll if I let it. There is no reason for this; I have NEVER felt anything but welcomed with open arms by this family that I was separated from for so many years, yet my fears continue.

 

When we look in the Bible, we find that God tells us fear is not from Him but is from the evil one, satan.  And, when I have looked back over my life, the biggest mistakes I have made have been when I was in fear. I have learned that if I allow myself to fear, if I allow fear to be the ruler of my heart, I can sabotage anything. But this isn’t news to God.  He knew this would be a number one tactic satan would use against believers! So God gave us a plan, a way out, and in His Word He tells us that we are to take every thought captive.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV “ We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

 

See, I have learned in this life, it is NOT about me. God has commissioned all of us to; first of all, “GO into all the world” . . . and, later on in His book, He says that people will know us by the love we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ.  So I am faced every day with the decision, “do I go…. do I show love”?? And every day I have to choose to either listen to the monkeys in my head and retreat into my own place, or to follow the commands that God has given us and do what I don’t want to do.

 

Christ’s crucifixion on the cross is a perfect example of what true sacrifice is. We read in the Bible that Jesus said, “If it be Your will , let this cup pass from me.”  See, Jesus didn’t want to have to do something His Father told Him to do either, but He did it. He gave the ultimate sacrifice, which was His life.

 

As for me, I know I have never been asked to give my life, in the literal sense, for anyone! But daily, in the spiritual sense of what I am to do, I AM asked to give up my life – my wants, my desires – especially when it comes to interacting with others. When I look back and see how Jesus was willing to be beaten and abused for me before He even knew me – the Bible says He died for me! – then how simple is it that I could give 20 minutes or an hour of my time to show the life that was given for me to others?

 

I hope you will accept my challenge today: step out of your comfort zone, your anxiety ridden situation, and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. In Him and only Him is where we find perfect peace.

Reasons your daughter should not move out of the house!!!

I am a firm believer in helping others in this walk of life. I believe we are all on this journey together and as I walk my path of faith, I need to look back and hold out my hand to encourage someone who may be behind me. In the same way, I believe there are others further along on this journey who reach back to me and pull (and, let’s face it, sometimes they DRAG) me along!

Because of that I am compelled today to write about this whole empty-nest thing that my husband and I are experiencing. Granted, we still have our 17-year-old (gulp – can’t believe he is that old!) son at home. But, for this week we have been empty-nesters. You see, our son has been at camp for two weeks and during that time we moved our daughter back to Kansas City to attend college. So, for the past week we have been practicing empty-nesting.

I have to say, it is quite different than what I expected. My overall view of it is that, while I have gained an almost-perfectly-clean house for the first time in 29 years, it is WAY too quiet! I have to honestly say, as much as I ranted and raved about keeping the house clean when the kids were at home. I would give it all up to hear them laughing in the other room or break out in song while driving down the road.

There have been some specific disadvantages to our daughter’s absence, that I didn’t feel the effect of when our oldest son moved out over 10 years ago. (Yes, there is 10 years difference between our first 2 children) While lamenting to my husband over the fact that our daughter was leaving, he responded to me, “What am I, chopped liver? I will still be here.” To which I replied, “Are you going to go shopping with me, paint my nails, and dye my hair for me?” To which he promptly retorted, “Nope, not me!”

There have been some other disadvantages of her leaving as well:
1. She took HER clothes out of MY closet!  How rude! I thought possession was 9/10 of the law!
2. She took the good fingernail polish with her! The fact that it was HER fingernail polish to begin with is beside the point!  Couldn’t she have left me a parting gift? (Smile!) 
3. She is/was my right hand in almost everything I did. And now that she is an adult, I can say with full confidence, we are “BFF’s – BEST FRIENDS FOREVER! Therefore, I miss her terribly!

Amy's Empty Closet

Amy’s closet looks awful empty

Yet, with all the changes – and  my selfish reasons for missing my daughter – I am so thankful to hear the joy in her voice when she calls; to know the excitement she feels when returning to the comfort of what she calls home. I draw peace from the fact that she has a huge support system with our church family back in KC and I am confident that, as much as I love her, there is a Heavenly Father who loves her more than I do, and He is watching over her.

Oh, I know the next few years will hold many changes for me and for our family but there is one thing that will remain the same: the steadfast love of God. He is faithful, and He will never leave us. I know that I can call on Him whenever I have a problem and He will always be there.

And in those times when I feel alone and afraid, unsure of what the future holds, I rest in the confidence that I know who holds the future! When I have that desire to be in control and try to figure it all out on my own, it is in those times I must learn to sit back and lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus because He is my rock, my fortress, and the only one on whom I can depend

A friend posted these words on Facebook this week and they are absolutely true. “I know that God always supplies our every need according to his riches in glory. I’m starting to understand that walking with God is just one leap of faith after another. I don’t think it ever gets easier, I just think we learn to trust God more.”

 ” I’m starting to understand that walking with God is just one leap of faith after another. I don’t think it ever gets easier, I just think we learn to trust God more.”                                                                                                                                                   January Lare                                                                                                                    

”Isn’t that the very basis of our foundation in Christ – “Trust”? We have to trust or there is no foundation for our faith walk. And that is what this life is, whether you are a new mom, empty-nesting mom, or unsure if you will ever be a mom. It all comes down to trust. If we have truly surrendered our heart to Him, it is just one trusting leap of faith after another.

My daughter states there is one phrase that has helped her keep it together through this time of transition for her and it is this: “If your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough”

 ” If your dreams do not scare you then they are not big enough ” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

I hope today, that whatever dream God has put in your heart, it is so big it scares you to death! Because, I know there is a God who is right there beside you, ready to hold your hand and walk with you.  He cares for you and wants to see you succeed in everything you do.  Sometimes it can get scary, getting to the place where He wants us to be, but we can rest on the fact that He is working “all things for our good !”……..

Won’t you trust Him today?

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASB