Category Archives: faith

The Bigger Picture

Back in November as I was finishing up my preschool choir duties at our church, jesters 2 & 3 have not had a consistent Sunday School teacher for their class since the promotion Sunday in August. They were being combined with the one year younger class than them. One Sunday morning, they were complaining how they didn’t want to go to the “baby class” anymore. And frankly, I was over it to. As we were waiting in the hallway for the “baby class” teacher to show up, I was thinking; this is getting old and ridiculous. So, the next day, I talked with our Preschool Director and told her that I will be the Kindergarten Sunday School teacher. Naturally, she looked at me as if I were crazy, because I’m known for spreading myself thin and plus, I will have two of my very own children in there. But, I saw the need.

A need to be in that classroom with those children and they have a consistent teacher.

I am not a teacher. Look at my spiritual gift test and teaching is at the very bottom. Classroom settings and lesson planning does not formulate in my brain. Thankfully there was a book, a guideline that I could use to help me teach the children.

Honestly, I dreaded Sunday morning. I fought with God every Saturday night. Most of the time I didn’t even look at the lesson until 30 minutes before the children were to arrive. My heart wasn’t fully in it. I was in that classroom because nobody else would step up to teach these kids. And that led to bitterness and frustration towards other parents at church.

A few weeks into me being their teacher; our Pastor was talking about “taking up space” in one of his sermons. And that is what I felt like I was doing. Taking up space in this classroom, when somebody else who has the calling of teaching could be in there. But, nobody else did.

That’s when I started praying to God to give me the heart and mindset to see the bigger picture. To look beyond the planning, the turning my mom voice on to some of those kids. Even when just an hour earlier I was yelling at my own kids to hurry up, get dressed, brush their teeth and then have to teach them in the classroom. That is not an easy transition. I had to think that this was all for God, that maybe, a seed will be planted into the hearts of one or all of these kids.

My last Sunday is at the end of this month with these kindergartners. Its a bittersweet ending with them. I’m glad that I stepped up and that God showed me the bigger picture in that classroom.

 


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Kudos To God

Just when I thought the wrath of God was coming upon me; because I’ve been fighting Him in my childish and selfish ways which have led to a multitude of sins; He shows up with grace and mercy left and right today.

I’ve been having issues with my MacBook not charging lately, so I headed over to the Apple store in the ever so glamorous Green Hills mall. The adapter wasn’t working anymore. So, Grant, the Apple tech guy, told me that my warranty was 100 days over and that the adapter was going to cost $61. I thought to myself, hmmmm….great. I can’t buy that today. (Because when you have 4 kids; your money priorities change!) But then, Grant graciously said, “I’ll swap this out for you at no cost.”

HOORAY! 

I thanked Grant tremendously and left a very happy customer! Now, maybe Apple does this quite a bit for others, but, really, I saw God’s hand in this!

I got to my car and my gas was near to empty. Sighing and thinking that there is no way I’m going to make it back to Franklin, I drove a few miles and pulled into a gas station. I had no cash and little to spare on my debit card; I took the chance and put $9 in the gas tank. But then, as I got back into my car, put my foot on the brake, I looked down and saw a bunch of twenty-dollar bills sticking out. I picked it up and my mind immediately went to the day when I got back from visiting my mom and family in Denver. The 3 jesters had told me that “Daddy lost a lot of money! It fell out of his pocket!”

I had found the money that was “lost”. Which means that all that cash was in our car under the gas pedal for 3 weeks! I texted the husband to tell him that I found his money that he lost and he simply replied back ‘finders keepers’.

God’s timing is perfect and sometimes comical. Notice how I didn’t find that money until after I left the mall! I’ll be back Nordstrom, The Container Store and Cheesecake Factory!

With my heart battered and torn lately and exhausting the battle within myself, I needed to see the grace of God today. I needed to see that He is there, He is still taking care of me, even in the littlest of things that matter.

“The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love.” Psalm 145:8

Where have you seen God’s grace working in your life? Has He ever “shown up” in random, unexpected, comical ways?

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What Captures My Soul

I’ve been playing on Spotify a lot lately. It’s a site where you can listen to any kind of music your heart desires….FREE! At least on your desktop. If you want to download the app onto your phone, that’s free, but, to listen to the music on your phone, there is a monthly fee.

I have a couple of play-lists that I’ve made, including a set of songs that sounds like I’ve just called into the Delilah radio show requesting every hopeless romantic love song there is. But, hey, a good ballad is good for the soul. Or sometimes not. Because sometimes that ballad takes you back to that day when your heart got crushed by your “soul-mate” and left you sitting in your car….alone…..and every song that came across the radio had he-doesn’t-love-you words darting your heart even more. We’ve all been there, right?

As a young girl, I would sit in my bedroom and listen to music any chance I could get. And I would write out all of the lyrics of all the songs that I enjoyed the most. Which then led me to write my own words, my own lyrics. Being involved with a variety of choirs, and as my dad being a “music man”, I knew that music and songs were something that I wanted to dig deeper into.

I have spiral notebooks filled with lyrics that I had kept in secret for years. I wrote in silence mainly because I didn’t know where to go from there. Until one day I got the bright idea to email David Foster, a well known and respected songwriter. He never replied back. It’s ok. He’s a busy guy.

I took a break from writing. But, when we moved to Nashville, Music City, USA, I thought, “Maybe this is it. This is God’s way of showing me to get back into writing.” So, I wrote up a few new lyrics, brushed up a couple of old ones and had a friend who is in the music industry take a look at them. He liked what I wrote. In fact we did put a song together. But, nothing came of it. Which is fine. I kept writing.

But, then I stopped. Again. Life with 4 kids was happening and I was tired of rejection.

With friends in the industry, it’s not easy as I thought it would be.

So, here I am today, in 2012, listening to Spotify to keep up with new tunes from outstanding artists and listening to old tunes that take me back to good and bad days.

Listening to these songs has given me the itch to write again. Music truly seeps into my soul and embraces the joys and sorrows that are rooted deep down. The words alone in a song invade and captures my passion for music.

This passion has not gone away. It’s still there. It’s time to open up my heart again.

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Filed under dreams, faith, i love music, starting over

Burst

I’m about to burst.

I’ve been having waves of emotions hit me left and right these past few days from various situations that are currently in this season of my life.

I don’t know what I’ll burst into or out of. But, it’s there. On the verge.

The bursting could be….

laughter

tears

panic

joy

song

fear

the bubble from my gum 

It may even  just be my pants from all of the leftover Easter candy that I’ve been inhaling!

Either way, whichever one it is; I’m going to burst.

 

 

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I Don’t Want To Forget Her

Last week an unexpected, yet, answered prayer happened. I was able to fly to Denver to visit my mom and a few of my siblings, thanks to my husband’s boss whom couldn’t use her ticket voucher that had to be used last week. So, she generously offered it to us.

My total time there was an exact 48 hours, I’m not complaining, because any given or free given amount of time to spend with my family is precious.

My brother Tracey, who has been recently diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm (please pray for him) picked me up from the airport. I drove his Jeep in the snowy, slushy weather to the nursing home where my mom has been for the past 2-3 years.

Arrived at the nursing home and walked to her room. She was lying in her bed sleeping. I gently whispered, “mom. mom.” with a soft patting on her leg. She opened her eyes with a large gasp and a “Oh honey!” I hugged her and cried my eyes out. She didn’t cry. Since her stroke, she hasn’t shown much of a tearful emotion. Which may be a good thing, otherwise it would be an ugly mess every time one of us kids leaves the nursing home!

We walked around the nursing home. She introduced me to all the staff and her friends and pointed out the ones that are “trouble”. I showed her pictures of the princess and 3 jesters. She doesn’t remember their names or ages. She also didn’t remember my husband’s name.

I went back to the nursing home the next day with my brother and sister. We took our mom to lunch and had fun reminiscing about our childhood. I loved seeing my mom laugh while we shared our stories. She also shared of what she remembers of all of her 7 children and the trouble we, I mean the other 6 would get into. I’m the 7th child, the baby, so of course, I was the most well-behaved. 😉

My time with my mom was short. But, I soaked in every second I had with her.

I hated to leave her.

I don’t like that she has to be in that nursing home.

Being miles away from her, it’s sometimes easy to play out of sight, out of mind.

I don’t want to forget her, before she forgets me. 

It hurts not being a consistent, every day role in her life. It hurts that she doesn’t know her grandchildren. And that they don’t know her.

I don’t know how much longer she has with us. Or when the day comes when she really won’t know who we are, if she ever gets to that point of  illness.

Having lost my father while miles apart. It bothers me that I will have to live through that again with my mom.

Until I can get back to Denver to see her, I’m thankful for the phone calls I can make to her and the Skype calls I get while she is with one of my siblings. Yay! Technology!

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Make Every Day Count – Giveaway


Click to Close (Make Every Day Count - Teen Edition by Max Lucado)

I really enjoy the writings of Max Lucado. And I am thrilled to be able to share with you a book he has written for pre-teens and teens. Make Every Day Count has easy to read, easy to grasp chapters on how to handle various days that you or your teen encounter.

  • Gratitude
  • Peace
  • Faith
  • Grace

These are examples that Max writes about in the book to help pre-teens and teens guide them on how to choose and make each day count for the better during their stress, guilty, drained days.

I really like how Max adds stories and scripture with the chapters as well. He also added a study guide with questions at the end of the book that your pre-teen or teen can do themselves or in a study group.

I am very thankful to Tommy Nelson for allowing me to give away 1 copy!

If you would like to have a copy of Make Every Day Count, please leave me a comment and let me know;

What advice do you give to your pre-teen/teen before they start his/her day?

This contest will end on Friday March 16, 12:00 p.m 

Contest is over! 

 

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Only A Vapor

My heart is heavy today. Last week there was a horrible accident in our town and a man and a 10-year-old girl lost their lives in the accident. Today was the funeral for the girl. I don’t know this family, I know people who do know this family. I have never lost a child, but, I’ve lost enough loved ones, that I can empathize the emotional pain that they are feeling.

I hurt for the little girls’ friends. When I was 11, my very good friend died in a drowning accident. I talked to her for the last time on that hot August morning. She had invited me to go swimming with her, but, I already had plans to go to the Fair with my dad. I remember her funeral. I remember the tears streaming down her parents’ and siblings faces. I remember her dad hugging me ever so tightly and saying, “You were such a good friend to Liz.”

This little girl’s friends’ will never forget her.

My heart aches for the mom. My daughter is the same age as hers that she lost. It’s absolutely heart wrenching.

I always try to keep the mindset to live each day the best that you can. Love on your loved ones. We are not promised tomorrow.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14

 

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