Monday, May 28, 2012

Dear Veterans

Yesterday at church, we gave honor to the veterans and their families. At the end of the service honor was given to them by rolling out a red carpet for them to lead the way out of the church.

The congregation clapped and cheered as the veterans and their families made their way out.

Today, my daughter wanted to honor the veterans because of what they did, and do, to protect our country so we can have the freedom we sometimes take for granted.
She wrote the following letter to all of our veterans;

Dear Veterans,

Thank you for serving in the military. You make our country free. You risk your lives for us. Thank you so much!

All my uncles and my dad and both of my Grandpas served in the military. I was not born when they did go into the service though. I am glad they all are still alive.

You know that you are protecting us and God is protecting you!
From Sarrah

I couldn’t have said it better. May you be incredibly blessed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't Wanna Miss It

While walking down one of the beautiful sandy beaches on the Oregon Coast with my sister, I was talking with her, about what we’d learned in the study of Jonah this last week.

One of the things that stood out to both of us, was when Priscilla Shriver mentioned, when she gets to heaven, she doesn’t want to find out, that she missed out on power from the Holy Spirit that had been available to her on earth.

I don’t want to miss out on the power that Jesus gives us to live this life and the things that come with it either.

We discussed how it looks to be walking in the Holy Spirit and the power that He gives us. After all, the power from the Holy Spirit is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Are we really walking in that power?

While we were going over this, we noticed just how peaceful it was to just stand on the shore, feet in the water, and listen to the waves, to look at the beautiful blue skies.

Isn’t this one way it’s supposed to be? Peaceful?

But what about the stresses that come from fast schedules, work, relationships….and just plain trying to keep up?

Peace.

Didn’t Jesus say, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 NKJ)

We watched my daughter running about just enjoying what was  in front of her, filled with a child’s joy…doesn’t He want us to come to Him with childlike faith?











As we left the beach area we walked through some sand with patches of dry grass. Suddenly, we just stopped on the path. We didn’t want to go any further, but rather we let ourselves savor the moment, soak in the peace, and enjoy the feel of the wind on our skin and the beautiful view.


Are we stopping? Sometimes we just have to stop…even God stopped for a day of rest…and no matter what we are busy with, or what is knocking on our door…stop and receive all that God has for you to get through each moment.





Galations 5:22 – 23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control…




Monday, May 21, 2012

God's Tossed Pennies

I find myself repeating the following story often when I am out and about, so I decided to post it again on my blog.

I hope it is an encouragment to you and that no matter what you can trust in Him.

A few years ago, my sister and I would do morning walks together, during the weekdays. One day there was a penny on the ground in front of me and I reached down to pick it up. I explained that not to long ago, I wouldn't have picked it up, but instead I'd just leave it for someone else who may need it.

But one day, I was convicted of appreciating even the smallest blessings that may be in front of me. God knows if I need a penny or not, so I decided to start picking them up, thank Him for it and also thank Him for all the other blessings He gives to me.

A few days later, during another one of our walks, we were talking about a burden my sister was carrying. I suddenly remembered the other thing I had heard about picking up a penny. On the coin is the words, "In God We Trust." Whenever a person finds a penny, they are to confess whatever they are not trusting God with in their life. And then say "In God I Trust." So I started doing just that.

We went no more than five feet when I heard my sister give a happy sound as she reached over and picked up a penny, "In God We Trust," she proclaimed.

Through the week we both continued to share things weighing heavy on our hearts and throughout the day we would pick up whatever pennies we found in front of us and then make a decision to trust God with our issues.

One day in particular, I just fretted and fretted over something. I found more pennies that day than I'd seen in a long time. Then the next day, on our daily excursion, we talked about our issues that still hadn't been resolved. We had a lot on our minds so we prayed while we walked.

Right after we finished praying, we noticed on the side of the road, was a PILE of pennies. We ran over to the pile and didn't care who was watching. We stooped down and picked up penny after penny, saying "In God we trust, in God we trust"...

Have a burden?

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mothers Day

Proverbs 31:10 – 12
10A wife of noble character who can find?
  She is worth far more than rubies.
11Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12She brings him good not harm, all the days of her life.

I’ve been to a few studies on the Proverbs 31 woman, and believe me, I know where I’m lacking when I read it.
You’re probably wondering, why, on Mother’s day of all days, would I post anything concerning this chapter of the Bible? I mean isn’t Mother’s day, the day, we all get accolades for the WONDERFUL things we do as a mom. It’s really not the day to be reminding us of anything we may be lacking, right?
Well, first of all, my hat goes off to every other mom. I love being a mom, it’s rewarding and a blessing, but also the most challenging job there ever is. So, I want to first say to every other Mom, I hope your day is so great today and you get to relax and hang with or hear from your kids.
Now, back to Proverbs 31:10-12, if I gave my Mom a card this year, it would definitely have this verse on the front of it. There are plenty of other verses in this chapter that would define my mom too. I honestly don’t think this chapter would be a challenge to her at all and I’m not just bragging. But, if I had to highlight a section and put a name next to it, it would be these three verses and I would write her name in big letters in my Bible.

My Dad tried to brag about her to me, the other night. He tried to tell me how wonderful she’s been, while caring for him during his recovery from surgery, and she wouldn’t hear of it.
So, I’m bragging for him.
I hope this blesses you Mom, because you are a great example to follow.

I love you and I hope your Mother’s day is absolutely wonderful.
NIV Bible Translation

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Happy Day

Today is a very happy day in our family. Its more of a holiday for us than Christmas!

Thirteen years ago today, I married my husband, Ben, he is an answer to my prayers, far beyond any dream of a man I could ever dream about. He is the most incredible man and I am so blessed to be able to share life with him and to grow together in our relationship with the Lord.

On our fourth anniversary, Sarrah arrived. She was another answer to years of prayers, not only ours, but family and dear friends we went to church with. It is so fun to watch her grow through the different stages of life. Nine years old. I blinked an zoom, she's nine.

Sometimes, Mother's day falls on the eight, so we have three reasons to celebrate then.

But today, we are celebrating the gift of life together, me and my husband and our little girl.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Interrupted

I’m not the best person to be around in the morning. I just don’t do mornings very well. Although, as I’ve gotten older, and having the responsibility of getting my daughter off to school at a certain time, I am better at “doing mornings.”

I do like to have some space and a shower before my first conversation. On a good day, I read, shower, and then wake up my daughter.

I was having one of those good days, when a knock on the door interrupted my routine. I was in the middle of reading and hadn’t had my shower yet. The interruption pushed the shower off and it soon became a struggle for me to even get it done, and get Sarrah ready and get going for the day.

I had a long list of things to do that day and the interruption just didn’t fit in or sit right with me MOST of the day.

Right now, in our women’s Bible study we are learning about a man named Jonah. He was interrupted in a huge way. And that interruption didn’t sit right with him at all and he took off because…he didn’t WANT to be INTERRUPTED.

Well, if you skip to the end of the book, it tells how all of that got resolved between God and Jonah. And the interruption ended up being really good. It showed God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness to lost people.

I remember having an interruption of my own a few years ago. It wasn’t as drastic as what Jonah faced, but I didn’t want to do it.

I had started this blog, Picket Fences, solely for the purpose of marketing the book, “Like A Bird Wanders.” One thing you learn at a writer’s conference is, to build your platform, and one way to do it is, to do a blog. So I did the blog and I also started working on some marketing on another book of mine that will be coming out.

Well, then I started having fun blogging about some things that God was doing in my life. I was going through a really tough time and God was showing up all over the place with miracles or encouragement. So, I shared them.

Then one day, God did something amazing in my life and I didn’t want to share it on my blog, although I felt I was supposed to share the story. And I will admit to everyone, I didn’t want to share it because of my pride.

I couldn’t get off my mind that I was to share this story, but I didn’t want to tell the whole world about it…I was miserable.

Well, a few nights later, I was at a meeting. I told the ladies there, the story of the amazing thing God had done in my life. It was a small group of women I had grown to trust and so I felt safe sharing the story.  And now that I shared it…well, maybe I don’t have to blog it, right?

Wrong, the first thing out of one of their mouths was, “You should put that on your blog.”

I shrank back in my chair. I admitted they were right, but I didn’t want to.

With kind encouraging words, I soon realized the value of obeying and getting the story out. They promised to pray for me and I was to update them the following week.

When I went home that night, I got out my computer. I didn’t need a week. (Groan, groan) I just needed to get it over with, so I put my hands on the keys and punched in the story, and then let God do the rest.

Well, the next night we had Bible study and the ladies from the night before were there. They were happy and surprised that I had gone home and wrote the blog. They gave me lots of loving encouragement.

But then so did God. I was at the snack table filling up my plate and I overheard a lady talking about a blog that had touched her. The person next to her pointed to me and said, “She’s the one who wrote that blog.”

After speaking with her for a minute, I thought, I guess it was worth writing it even though my pride took a humungous beating.

But God wasn’t done with me yet. At the end of Bible study, a special lady I pray for a lot and truly love, came over to me, she let me know how the blog that day had helped a certain area of faith in her life.

Tears came to my eyes. I was humbled. I realized my blog wasn’t all about marketing or telling the fun things God did in my life. God had used my love for Him and my love to tell a story to touch someone I really care about.

So, even though it can be hard to tell about a failure, or an area where I lack faith, but God came through, or just something in my life I’d rather keep quiet about, I know it’s better to let God interrupt and do His thing with me.

Interruptions can be really hard, but it’s what God does with the interruptions that can be really good.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT)

He created us to do GOOD things. And in Psalms 139 it tells us how He knit us together in our mom’s womb and knows our days.

So if He is allowing interruptions into our lives, why do we worry, when He is the one who knows everything about us and the person sitting next to us?

Interruptions can come in many ways. Have you been interrupted lately?