Have you heard the Tea Cup story?

I am at the Well today sharing the "Teacup Story"....please join me! Click here!

Word-Filled Wednesday

Got up feeling so tired this morning, so I searched for a WFW to repost..... this one encouraged me. I pray it encourages you as well! And, please hop over to Susan's for more encouragement!

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ." -Ephesians 4:15-16

This week I have been thinking about a quote from Kay Arthur. I challenged my bible study with this passage and I will share it with you.

Beloved, we live with so much noise and busyness that we often don't take enough time to be quiet and think about truth, life, where we are headed, where we want to go , and what we want to accomplish. Consequently we move randomly and purposelessly through life. Pretty soon the years have passed, and we're no different. We've grown older but not wiser- we haven't matured into the stature of the fullness of Christ. We look at others and feel light years behind- all because we didn't BASK in the light of His Word. As you study the Bible, allow time to absorb truth- to think about how it can instruct you, encourage you, and give you wisdom, understanding, counsel, and hope.

Lord, how I want to grow and mature in You! I want to have a passion for You. I don't want to wake up next year and be the same...I want to be changed by You...

Please visit Susan at Forever His for more Word- Filled Wednesday!

The Way Things Are?????

Did you ever see the movie, Babe?

Great movie.....

Anyway, Babe REFUSE to accept the status quo. How about you?

Hop on over to Laced With Grace where I will be talking about REFUSING to accept
"the way things are."

Click here to read more....

Have you ever tried to reason with a 2 YEAR OLD?

Abby and I were in deep conversation the other day.....just WHO is "Grandma"????

I was trying to explain to her that "Grandma" is MY "Mommy".

No, she is "Grandma", silly!

Yes, she is Grandma, but she is MY Mommy.

NO, she is Grandma.

Yes, she is Grandma, but she is MY MOMMY.

Hmmmmm.............. a new approach is needed.

OK. Sometimes we have 2 names. You know, Ashley is YOUR sister, but she is my daughter.
I'm her mommy.

No..... she is SWEETIE, silly!

We can go by many different "names." Sometimes these labels are welcomed- mother, daughter, sister, friend.....

Other times, the world puts on us names we do not want to keep- failure, loser, not-good-enough, worthless, ugly, fat....

We also have names that God calls us that we must never forget- chosen, beloved, precious, redeemed, forgiven....

The next time the world tries to fix a label on you, reject it and call yourself what God calls you- LOVED.

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine." Isaiah 43:1

Father God, thank You for loving me so much. Thank You for calling me by name. Lord, I pray that You would silence those voices that would try to name me something else. Help me to remember that I am named by YOU. YOU call me by name and those names are Precious, Child, Beloved.... I love You, Lord! In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Never let the sense of past failures defeat your next step. -Oswald Chambers

Enjoying Today...at WFW

Enjoying life......what's important?

What is "eternal"?

Some things are NEVER a "waste of time".....

tickling kids....

playing board games...

baking a SNOWMAN cake....

I don't want to get too busy with scheduled RUNNING....crowding out quiet moments with my kids.

Some of life's BEST moments come with "doing nothing."

Lord, I want to allow Your Holy Spirit to teach me....whisper to me....remind me to enjoy Today.

Enjoy them!

Ash Wednesday

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on His children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
for He knows how we were formed,
He remembers that we are DUST...(Psalm 103:10-14)
...from dust you are
and to dust you will return....
I just returned from the Ash Wednesday service...

What a beautiful Name.

What He did. What He does.

Our pastor challenged us to "give up" more than than the traditional chocolate. "Give up" something that will help you draw near to Him....in His presence in preparation for Easter.
Lord, I want to give up my critical spirit.



Turning to food instead of filling up on Him.

Every judgemental thought.

Every selfish ambition.

I want to "give up" everything of this fleshly, sinful nature....

I want to "give up" these stinking grave clothes...

I want to walk in the Spirit.

I want to walk in the BLOOD...


I want to put off my old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires...

to be made new in the attitude of my mind...

to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 5:24)

I must decrease so He may increase.
Less of me, and more of You.
Less of me, and more of You.
Less of me.....NONE of me..
and ALL OF YOU...
Lord, I rend my heart and not my garments...
I am tearing my heart wide open, falling down on my face and asking You to do such a mighty work in me. Purify me.
Make my heart right.

Are you beautiful enough?

About a week ago I was flipping through channels looking for movie to watch. You know.... a hundred channels and NOTHING good was on???? As I flipped around, I lingered for moment on a program that I wasn't sure what it was. I thought perhaps it was one of those crime dramas. What compelled me to stop on this channel was the beautiful woman who was talking. She was sitting at a desk talking to a handsome man. I became engrossed in her "story" and what she was saying.

She was breathtakingly beautiful....long, blond hair, delicate face, and wearing a gorgeous black dress. I think it was her beauty that gave me pause... As she talked though, she was was saying that she wasn't "good" enough. She shared with the man that she used to be a "10" and now "out here" (LA???) she was just a 6 or 7 because of all the other beautiful women who were even more perfect than her. "Before" she had been the desired one, the sought-after prize....now she was just like everyone else. She felt like she didn't measure up.....inadequate.

It was then I realized I was watching "Nip-Tuck" as the scene cut to the operating room to give her the "perfect" body with a "better" bra size!

GAG ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But her "story" so resonated with me. I was intrigued with what she was saying because I could hear it in the cries of so many other REAL....not fictional women in our generation. All around us are messages that we must be perfect to be desired.....no wrinkles....no body fat....no gray hair. We must be perfection....flawless.

And now not only do women have young 20 something women to compare themselves to, but older women who, like in this "Nip-Tuck" show, shell out thousands of dollars to reach an naturally unattainable perfection. So, we compare ourselves to the "illusion". We no longer just compare ourselves to the airbrushed women of magazines, but now we also find ourselves looking at "real" women perfected by surgeries and wondering why WE don't "measure up."

Girlfriend, DON'T DO IT!

You see, you are precious and honored in God's sight. God doesn't focus on our outward appearance. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1Samuel 16:7

I know....I know.... It is HARD to remember this when you look at yourself and then begin comparing. It's hard when you hear the voices in your head telling you that you aren't "good enough".....not skinny enough....too many wrinkles.....maybe you should give that under eye cream a try.... But, we MUST continue to renew our minds in the Truth! And, the most IMPORTANT Truth to continue to encourage ourselves with is WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST. When we aren't looking to the world to define us, but seeking our identity and worth in Jesus Christ, remembering we are "hidden in Him," our perspective will change. Simply singing the little song, "Jesus Loves ME, this I know" over and over.....reminding ourselves what is important....what is ETERNALLY important.

Girls, it is a constant battle in the generation we are living in. We must continually remind ourselves of God's Truth. We must also remind ourselves of "the facts."

Our bodies are not perfect (yet). They will get old. They will change. We will get wrinkles. Gravity is real and body parts don't stay where they used to.....

But, God' love is not dependent on HOW we look. He loves us unconditionally. God created each one of us uniquely, in lots of different shapes and sizes. We MUST not compare ourselves to others....especially magazine covers and stars....their beauty is often an "illusion" created by airbrushing, surgery, and lots of people around them making them look that way!

I want to be the best ME I can be.....not Demi or Angelina. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so I DO WANT TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT, so I eat good things, exercise, take care of my skin.....nothing "wrong" with that! Be careful that you don't go to the "other extreme" of heaping guilt and condemnation from taking care of yourself....

I want to be FREE. I don't want to be in bondage to the way I look. I want to enjoy a cookie when I want, not freaking out about gaining a pound if I do! I want to dress up and enjoy a night out with my husband, feeling like a princess in a movie, being confident, not comparing myself to other women and feeling inadequate. I want to give this area of my life to YOU God....trusting You, not the world. Lord, renew our minds in this area. Father, we live in a time where we are bombarded constantly with "outward appearance". Lord, heal our wounds....change our thoughts....renew our minds. Holy Spirit, speak Truth to us when our minds are being saturated with lies. Lord, we pray every time we hear a LIE that You would immediately remind us of the Truth. Jesus, take our hand and lead us through this generation, navigating us around all of the potholes of deception.... We love You and adore You, God! In Jesus' most precious Name we pray! Amen.

If you need more encouragement on this topic, please check out these posts as well! As you can tell, I have needed much teaching in this area! I have struggled with these issues that keep so many Christian women in bondage!

Click here and here. And for more, just search "beauty" tags. And always remember beautiful daughter, you are so loved by Him.

Live by faith....

We saw the "Book of Eli" a few weeks ago. It left a powerful message with me that I continue to think about..... It was one of those movies that definitely sticks with you. (This movie was rated "R" for a reason, folks! There is a lot of VIOLENCE......Eli protects the Book with a machete- need I say more????? It reminded me of a Mad Max movie. So....if you are thinking about seeing it- be careful and be prepared for the violence. You can do what I do and close your eyes through those scenes!)

The movie takes place in the future. It's one of those "post-apocalyptic " movies. You know, there has been the war that ends all wars..... it actually blows a hole in the ozone causing the sun to burn the earth....the "Big Flash." After hiding in dark places, survivors come out to a green-sky wasteland with no food or water. People have become inhumane.....killing for fun...for water....or a can of tuna. There is no love....no caring....no decency. It is a lawless "civilization" where gangs rob, kill, and rape. This world reminded me of Romans 1 where we see "human nature" continue to get worse and worse.

But, enter Eli....aka....Denzel Washington (don't ya love him???). He is a good man who is (and has for 30 years) been following God's direction to protect The Book (the Bible) and take it West. He doesn't just protect it, but reads it...believes it.....tries to live by it. There is a point in the movie when he is full of remorse because he hasn't been living by it the way he should.

He is a warrior. He tries to avoid confrontation, but evil men think he is an "easy target" and continually try to kill him. "Eli guards the book with his life, because he knows that the book is the only hope that humanity has for its future."

There is an incredible twist ending....a WOW! And, it drives home the point that we "live by faith and not by sight."

Lord, this is the Truth that I want to remember....to live out. I want to live by FAITH, not by sight. (2Corin. 5:7) I want to "call things that are not as though they were." (Romans). I want to be eternally minded, not earth bound. I want to look at my GOD, not my circumstances. Joel Osteen always says, "Tell your problem how big your God is....not God how big your problem is." I want to walk out the promises of God... I am "more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8). I do not have a "spirit of fear, but of POWER, of love, and of self-discipline." (2 Tim. 1:7) "I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 1:3.

I am chosen.

I am adopted as God's child through Christ Jesus and an heir with Him!

I am forgiven.

Accepted in the Beloved.

Included in Christ.

Marked by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1)

Doesn't matter what I feel.

Doesn't matter what I see.

Doesn't matter what battle I must fight.

I walk by faith, not by sight.

Ever feel like a burned waffle????????

OK, THIS was my morning this morning!!!!!
Put the homemade waffles that I so diligently prepared yesterday in the oven to broil. WHY broil, you ask????????? Well, to heat them up FAST, silly! You know, because I hadn't allowed myself enough time to get all of things I needed to do DONE. So, in effort to speed up the routine, put the frozen waffles in the oven, turned on broil and continued to frantically run around like a chicken with my head cut off!!!!! And, of course, what did I do? Forgot about them! Adding too much stuff to my morning.... Trying to do ONE MORE THING....
So, as I walked down the stairs from brushing my teeth/reading memory verses/getting the checkbook from desk/grabbing my shoes/adjusting my outfit/clicking off the day's schedule in my mind (you know....multitasking????), I realized even before I smelled the AWFUL burning smell that I had forgotten the waffles. "The waffles!!!!" Screaming as I ran down the stairs.
Yep. Confirmed.
(Well, maybe the dog can eat them.)
Lord, what are you showing me here?
I know I must SLOW down. I must finish something before I begin something else. You are NOT a God of chaos, but a God of order. Help me to depend on You MINUTE by MINUTE and MOMENT by MOMENT. Help me to laugh at the burned waffles of life, but help me to learn the lessons from them.
Love you, God. Thanks for cereal.

Anyone want a dog????

AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I came downstairs to find this mess on the floor yesterday. OH, I was mad at that dog! Me bad....it happened 3 times- should have taken the garbage out the first time it happened! This was the worse (and 3rd) mess. Had to capture it forever in a picture.

Do you ever feel like your LIFE is a mess....like this photo? Thankfully, God turns our MESSES into MIRACLES. God will take the messes WE have made.....the messes OTHERS have made....and turn them into MIRACLES of beauty.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Groundhog Day!

Did you see the movie, "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray? You know...he has to relive the same day- Groundhog Day- over and over and over again....until....he changes?

Life can be a bit like Groundhog Day, don't you think? Please hop on over to Laced With Grace to read more..........

At the Cafe today.....


Do you even know what one is???????

OK, be honest.....do you look in people's windshields as they drive by?

Join me over at the Cafe today to read more!