Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm Just a Seamstress

The one thing I love most about sewing is I can take a few pieces of fabric and turn it into something wonderful.  No one knows what the finished product will look like but over time, piece by piece, it all comes together.

It goes from this

 to this.   

As I finished this years costumes Psalm 139:13 came to mind.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."

Just like the costume, God takes us piece by piece and over time we turn into something wonderful.  A little new born with all its squishy yummy smelling goodness!  Before anyone could detect the pregnancy (even mama bear) He was creating at conception.   

I know this truth first hand.  It was a hot late August drive down the windy road to our goodbye lunch when I felt sick.  I knew I was pregnant.  Pregnancy test and blood tests both confirmed it.  But before this announcement was made there was WORRY.

We headed to the German hospital for an ultrasound.  I needed to be medically cleared to travel back to the US.  With all of the instruments and high tech tools the doctor couldn't see a baby.  The only thing seen was the fear I felt. 

The doctor was honest and informed us it could be an ectopic pregnancy.  The egg could have implanted in the fallopian tube making it impossible for the baby to grow and dangerous for the me.  

Day two we returned for yet another ultra sound.  Just fluids but no baby.  Doctor again informed us the fluids may be an indication of a miscarriage.  We prayed, we asked others to pray, and we trusted God.  Whatever was going to happen  we were in His hand.  Psalm 139: 13-16 was where I found comfort.  

"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance"  [v15]

We knew he was there.  Even though we couldn't see Him, the doctors couldn't see him, GOD could see him.

On the third day, the day before we were scheduled to hop on an airplane, baby boy showed himself!  So much joy and relief.  He was just a teeny weeny tiny spec on the ultra sound screen.  Unidentifiable by my untrained eyes but this 4-5 week little baby was forming.  That little faint dot was being created. 


The rest of the pregnancy went smooth but this time in our life showed me just what a miracle life is.  I'm still astonished that this toddler started out life unseen.  Unseen but fully loved.

I'm just a seamtress, a sewist.  I may have created that pretty little dress but God in heaven is the true creator.  A spec on a screen, God knit you together in  my womb, and handsome little man you truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.  









Thursday, October 13, 2016

I'm Sick & Tired

I mean literally, I am sick and tired.  Bear with me while I throw myself a mini pity party for a second.  My body aches, my throat is sore, coughing like a frog, I'm breaking out in daily crazy hives, the toddler is not sleeping well, which means neither am I.  

Tuesday was rough emotionally and physically.  I'm getting virtual sympathy from friends and one in particular sends me a video on positive thinking and gratitude.  At the end of the video this little piece from Romans 12:2 popped into my mind:

Be transformed and RENEW your mind.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Good, pleasing, perfect.  All words that do not describe how I feel BUT I'm pretty sure the last thing God wants me to do is complain, feel hopeless, and defeated.  He wants me to RENEW my mind and be transformed.  To put a new perspective on these situations, his perspective. 

FLIP IT
So I flipped it.  I took each complaint, each situation I'm facing and asked Him to renew my mind to see them differently.  

I'm sick.
BUT through this sickness I've been able to experience and see Randy's love so strong and so tangible.  That man is pretty amazing.  Putting kids to bed, his prayers over me, the pity, and offering to take a day off to help.  I'm so thankful for him.  You're the best my love. 

Confused by rashes. 
BUT God knows.  He knows what is going on inside my body and I need to trust that it will get taken care of in time.  TRUST.  I have the ability to see a doctor and I'm thankful for that.  I'm thankful to have family and friends who are praying for my health and have been such an encouragement through this discomfort.  [looks pretty gross, I know]  


3am Wake Up Call
This was a tough one but the bestie said, one day he'll be grown and won't be crawling into bed with you anymore.  As hard as it is to have my sleep interrupted, the bestie is right.  So for this week I'll enjoy the snuggles and the baby love. 

RENEWED
You know what happened when I flipped it?  My body is still sick and I'm still tired but I genuinely feel good.  [hehehe]   My spirit is strong and I feel renewed.  I know God wants me to see how he is using this sickness and my tired body to strengthen my faith and show me just how loved I am.  I know that this crazy attack on my body WILL PASS.  

So if you're having a rough week or feeling sick and tired...  Take Romans 12:2 say it, pray it, and believe it.
God, you have given me the ability to transform and renew my mind.  I want to learn to know your will for me which is good, pleasing, and perfect.  

  RENEW your mind and FLIP IT.  See the hope in the situation and how God can use it for the good.  Take the complaint and turn it into gratitude.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I Need More Eggs

We walked up to the freezing cold gigantic dairy section at Costco and Randy asks, "How many eggs?"  The last time we got a 36 pack they somehow disappeared.  As I was standing there thinking about my cooking plans he jokingly said, "If we get more than 36 you'll be cooking for the whole neighborhood." [Insert giggles].   He's right and I was proud.  That one statement showed me that he saw my heart.  He saw how I showed my love to our family and our community.


I love feeding people.  It sounds so silly but it's true.  When I read 1 Kings 19 I got the warm fuzzies because the story reminded me that God can use any act of service including what I create in the kitchen to minister.  He can use these treats to show people they are loved, important, and cared for.  Who doesn't love a little something sweet or salty or savory or down right delicious?! 



1 Kings 19 is a short story but let me give you the run down.  Elijah was running from Queen Jezebel because she wanted to kill him.  Actually, she said that by the next day he would be killed.  SO, he runs and runs and runs into the wilderness until he is physically and emotionally exhausted.  He's afraid and so distraught he even asks God to take his life.  Instead, God sends him an angel.  The angel doesn't do any cool miracle, no healing, bright lights, no glitter, nothing supernatural.  The angel  does something so simple..... cooks him food, gives him water and lets him rest [1 Kings 19:6-9].  That's right ladies, all this weary man needed was a hot meal, some water, and lots of rest!  


I love to cook, bake, host and give people a place to rest.  When I read this story it was like God telling me, you may think what you do is little but I take your little gift and show my love to them through it.  It's amazing what a little thoughtfulness and delicious goodness can do for a tired and weary soul. I know because I've also been on the receiving end of meals that have been gifted to me. 

Do you see where I am going with this?!   It seems like a small menial task.... cooking but I'm convinced the saying food is good for the soul comes from this story.  God showed me that my little passion for cooking can do more than nourish a belly he can use it to nourish a soul.  You may not like to bake, cook, or host but you have a gift too.  You have a small little something that God wants to use to show people his love. He can use your words of encouragement to be an angel and lift another persons soul.  Are you a hugger?  A crazy text person? That hug, the note or text of appreciation can turn an awful day to a bright one.  Your love for kids can bless a mom who needs an extra hand.  Whatever your little passion is God can use it to nourish a soul. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Memories on My News feed

Last week this popped up in my memories.  Don't you love those things?  I see an image, a memory and get the warm fuzzies.  I say awwwww.  I think has it really been that long already?!  Look how young we look!  You know what I'm talking about.  


So when I saw this from 2008 I did all of the above.  I look back and see how far we have come [two love struck sixteen year olds]. I have to do a touchdown, finger point to the big man upstairs because this memory on my news feed makes me so thankful to God for bringing us together and continually showing us how to work as a team.   I look at Randy and all of me wants to be the wife and helper that he needs me to be.  This is my prayer and it's a prayer for any woman who wants to be the wife/girlfriend God wants her to be.


Lord, I thank you that You have given me an amazing man to walk this life with.  Bless him for being such a supportive and loving husband.  Bless his hard work and desire to provide for our family.  Thank for you for the patience and kindness he shows to me even when I don't deserve it.



Forgive me for the times when I am unable to control my anger and emotions.  Bring to the surface any bitterness or resentment that I've tucked away.  Would you remove whatever it is that keeps me stony and stubborn and replace it with a heart that is tender and responsive [Ezekiel 36:26].  Show me how to have a gentle and quiet spirit [1 Peter 3:4].  I know if I am peaceful, my home and everyone in it will be also [Proverbs 25:24].



In times of conflict remind me that we are together to sharpen one another [Proverbs 27:17].  Would conflicts and troubles make our relationship stronger instead of pushing us apart.  Help me graciously take his suggestions and corrections without offense.  In return may my corrections to him be done gently in love and with respect [Ephesians 4:15].



Today I pray that you would show me how to be the wife I need to be.  Help me to not become weary of doing good for him, so in the right time we can reap the harvest of our marriage [Ephesians 5:22-23]. Would we continue to enjoy one another's company and grow in the hobbies and interests that we share.  Don't let him become a better cook than I am. Hahahaha.  Just kidding!



  Your word says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. [Proverbs 18:21].  Would the words I speak to Randy bring us closer together in unity.  Words that are respectful, full of encouragement and appreciation.  Words that will build him up as a man, husband, father, friend, and worker.



Thank you for being with us and using people along the way to guide us.  Continue to show us how to be partners in life and with you.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Rotten Sippy Cup Under the Seat

Ever have a sippy cup thrown on the floor by your toddler and it roll under the seat?  Heaven forbid it was full of milk on a hot summer day.  It's happened to me.  After a few days, the milk start to rot.  Them the car smells like someone has died in it.  It is foul and I'm desperate to take apart the entire car only to find the milk rotten sippy cup under the seat, spilled on the carpet.  

Sound familiar?  Hopefully not.  

Like that sippy cup sometimes it is easier to let problems roll under the seat, unseen, undetected.  We drive on without even realizing that the bitterness, annoyance, frustration is brewing in that cup.  We pretend that everything is fine, but eventually the stench comes.  

I know that is why God reminds me of the sippy cup whenever I am tempted to let my anger, annoyance, and frustration sit.  Paul tells the church in Ephesians 4:26-27

“In your anger do not sin”  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

I don't think the warning is an actual timeline to how long I should let these feeling sit but it is a warning to deal with it as soon as I am in my right mind again. 

DON'T LET IT SIT 
How do I not let our anger sit and turn into bitterness?  By acknowledging when the cup falls.  I red flag that moment when people start to get under my skin.  Red flag that thought that enters my mind, the one that wants to talk bad about another person.  Red flag that thought that justifies my anger, bitterness, and annoyance. 

THROW IT AWAY
When the cup has fallen and I let it sit, it's time to throw it away.  Time to give it to God.  
I turn the red flags into prayers.   Prayers of blessings and forgiveness.  

 Like the time when my sister was bugging me with all the wedding to dos, I got frustrated and I could feel myself boiling.  RED FLAG.  I hate getting annoyed with her because this is HER TIME and I want her to enjoy it.... So I prayed, 
"Lord, bless my sister.  She is driving me crazy with her perfectionism but help me to I love her and do the things I can do without complaining.  I pray that she has the wedding of her dreams.  Help her to enjoy every single moment."

What about people who deeply hurt you.... Who you consider an enemy?  Well Jesus has something to say about that in Matthew 5:43-44

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

I'm convinced Jesus tell us this because you can't hate someone you are praying for and blessing.  It is so insanely hard to pray for someone you're mad it but it works.  The Bible's truth doesn't fail.  I've turned long time perceived "enemies" into cordial friends this way.  I started blessing them and you know what happened?  They didn't miraculously change, but my heart towards them did.  The prayers sounded something like this.

"God, you love _______.  Help me to love him/her the way you love them.   He or she is ____________ [list all of their good traits, and yes they have some in there].  Then begin to bless them.  Bless their home, relationship, work, finances.     

When Jesus was on the cross he said,  Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing [Luke 23:34].  There are times when people hurt us they don't realize the magnitude of the offense.  They don't see that their words [or lack of], their actions have cut deep into our souls.  Jesus is setting an example.   Even if that person doesn't acknowledge how they have hurt you or apologize, God is still telling you to forgive fully.   To continually turn those red flag thoughts and feelings into prayers.

LEARN YOUR LESSON 
That sippy cup reminds me not to let my anger and bitterness towards another person sit.  In some situations it has caused me to draw back and set up boundaries.  Sometimes the relationship can be repaired.  Either way, I know I've forgiven when I can look at that person that hurt me or annoys me with love.  There isn't the stench of rotten milk of curses and accusations.  I want to see them the way God does and be able to bless them.  

Be angry... YES!  Be frustrated, cry, pity yourself.... YES!  But I'm learning not to let my anger sit too long because the first person it hurts is me. 

                                                               


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Overwhelmingly Grateful


Yesterday was a mix of emotions that were all engulfed in this overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  This life, that first day, it was a dream come true for me.  So today, a prayer of gratitude. 

Thank you Lord for giving me the honor of being the mom to this bold and confident little lady.   Thank you that I got to soak in every special moment of this big day with her.

I will always remember hearing her ask everyone around the house if they are so excited for her that she is starting kindergarten.  You have given her a light and I pray that she shines bright in her classroom and in the school.  May she always know  You are there with her in any of her struggles that.




Thank you for the peace and for friends who are there for support when fear arises. You say in Isaiah 41:10 that you are always with me and I know You are always with her.  I trust her in Your hands.  Thank you for the community of ladies you have given me to walk this life with.


I give You my gratitude for this little guy who loves his sister so much.  For the strong bond that they have built.   Would you give me the wisdom and continue to show me how to help them strengthen their bond.  May they always take care of one another and be quick to forgive when one hurts the other.

  I thank you for letting me be the wife to this wonderful man.  He may not understand my madness but he always shows his support.  He's always there and is patient with my incessant picture taking.   Bless him for being such an amazing, loving dad and husband.




Thank you for this perfectly imperfect family. Show me everyday how to care for their needs.  Help me to embody the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control so I can nurture them and show them the love that you have shown to me.

I would have none of this without you and today I offer up my gratitude.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What I Hate About Fitness

 As I was sitting in my rabbit hole not wanting to get off my butt, God kept reminded me of his principle of reaping and sowing.  You know those parables Jesus talks about and the tail end of the verse Galatians 6:7 

  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 

I want to reap all the benefits of someone who works out and eats right.  It's the sowing part, the putting in the effort that is sooo hard.  Can I get an AMEN?!

 I hate that fitness is like a relationship except in this relationship there are no hugs, warm fuzzies and kisses.   The rewards are not always visible, they are not tangible, but everyday fitness takes time, effort, and sacrifice.  Cooking healthy instead of eating out.  Veggies instead of rice crispy treats. Saying no to ice cream every night.  It's painful.

Just like with relationships and most of life, you really reap the benefits of what you sow.  I know when I'm actively and daily taking care of myself I reap more than just the physical.  I also reap the energy, a good mood, and confidence.  It's this principle and thought that got me to the gym today.

      

I jumped back into my weight lifting class.  I sadly downgraded my heavies and every squat  and lift shot pain through my muscles.   I know the faces I was making showed that I had been absent for awhile.   I may not be able to walk tomorrow, but I can tell you one thing as I write this after finishing up that class... I feel good.  

Maybe it's the endorphins, the feeling of mentally overcoming that barbell.  Maybe it's sticking around the entire class even though my body said leave.  Maybe it's sweating out the toxins or getting the mommy break of no one needing me for 45 minutes.  All I know is it feels GOOD to be back in the game.

Today's lesson is that you are always ONE DECISION away from a workout and having a carrot stick.  So when your brain starts to waver think about that verse and tell yourself.. I will reap what I sow.


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