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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dealing With Disappointment

How do you deal with disappointment? Do you stuff it inside and just try and forget about it? Or do you take your disappointment out on someone else? Perhaps you are able to deal with it and move on. Have you ever had a time when you just can't seem to get past it though? That is what I have been experiencing lately. Disappointment because I am not able to do something that I really, really desired to do, but also dealing with loneliness. The combination is not a good thing. Sometimes when we get discouraged in one area, it is easy to have it rub off on other areas in our lives. Suddenly nothing seems to look too positive in our life.

I am reminded this morning of Romans 5:5 " And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." I pray Lord that even when I am disappointed by life's circumstances, I will be reminded of the hope that I have in you. I know that you will never disappoint me or leave me. Thank you for loving me Lord.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Holy Ground

"When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:4-5

I have been thinking about this verse this morning. How often do you think of being on holy ground as you spend time in prayer and reading your Bible. A lot of times we look at devotions as part of our "to do" list that can be checked off. Yep, I read my Bible and I prayed. We approach God the same way. Here is the list of things that I want Lord: please heal Aunt Gertie, help my husband to get that new job, help Billy to do well in his test today.... The list goes on and on. Or else we read our Bibles, but are often thinking of the things that we need to accomplish for the day.

How different would our spiritual life be, if we approached these times with the Lord as Moses did? If we thought of it as being on holy ground, would we be more reverent and expectant of hearing from God? Would we find that each day we hear God's sweet voice and eagerly look forward to the time that we spent with Him? I wonder....



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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Truly Blessed

My family and I left Thursday afternoon to head to Virginia. We won't be returning home until sometime on Tuesday. I have been enjoying seeing my in-laws as well as just having some away time. When we return back home our schedule will pick up for the summer. Both of my boys will spend a lot of time in June and July serving at a Christian camp. My oldest son will help in the maintenance department and the younger will help to be a counselor.

Since we have been in Virginia I have made a realization - how blessed I am to have a husband that is devoted to me and our boys. He often will defer to me to see what my wishes are before making a final decision for our family. In fact, I can't think of a time when he doesn't do that. I often find myself focused on some of his idiosyncrasies that frustrate me or drive me crazy. But then there are times like this weekend, when I realize how truly blessed I really am.

He works hard each day to provide for our family, even though it isn't a job that he always enjoys. He is faithful in being a spiritual leader for us and leads devotions each evening before our boys head to bed. He often chooses to do things that I like, even if he doesn't. I know that he isn't perfect and at times he drives me crazy. I realize I probably drive him crazy sometimes too.

The Lord just really reinforced to me the importance of focusing on the positive things he does, and how much he loves me. I pray that I am often reminded of the good things he does and to let him know how much I appreciate him.

How are you doing with noticing the little things your husband does to help you out? When was the last time you thanked him and let him know how much you appreciate him?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rainy Day Reflections

This afternoon my youngest son and I were on our way home from the discount grocery store. It was very dreary and rainy. We were driving on a twisty road when I noticed a truck coming in the opposite direction flashing his lights at me. I immediately checked to see if I had forgotten to turn my lights on. No, wasn't that. As I rounded the bend I realized why the truck had flashed his lights. There were several emergency vehicles on the side of the road - fire trucks, and ambulance. Two guys were directing traffic in the rain. When we were able to pass, I saw the reason for the emergency. A suburban had skidded off the road and landed in a field, turned on its side. People were gathered around the vehicle.

I don't know if the people in the car were hurt or what. But it reminded me of how we often go about our days and make plans for what we are going to do. Sometimes just around the bend is an unexpected accident. When those times come will we be ready for the unexpected that God brings into our life? Will we question Him or will we realize that nothing in our lives that occurs is a surprise to God? Will we remember that we can trust Him no matter what the future holds? How are you doing today with trusting?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Beauty of Spring!

I wanted to share another photo from my 14 year old son's camera. I just love the close up of my pink azalea bush. It is Spring here in PA and I have been enjoying the beauty of the pink and white dogwood trees as well as the azaleas and flowers as well.

As I survey the beauty around me I can't help think of God's handiwork. I am amazed of His intricate design of each flower. How amazing He is!

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

I had wanted to post this over the weekend, but things were kind of crazy. On Thursday evening my husband and I traveled to Hershey to stay at my Mom's house. She was staying at our house with our two boys. Friday and Saturday was the annual CHAP (Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania) conference. This was our 13th year to attend it.

We had a wonderful time away together, despite me locking the keys in my mom's house and her having to drive to unlock the door, get my purse and bring it to the homeschool fair. Sigh! I felt pretty stupid!

We always are inspired by the speakers as well as shopping for school curriculum for next year.

My husband and I arrived home late evening on Saturday. I was exhausted. Sunday was Mother's Day as well as my 43rd birthday. The photo was taken in our yard, after church. I hope to have some photos in a few days of my guys as well. We celebrated Mother's day for lunch and my birthday for supper. What did you do on Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Sign of Aging

It's been a few days since I have been able to get on the computer because my 17 year old son has been feverishly working on completing his take home final for his political science college course. Today he is off to work, so I am finally able to do some writing.

Yesterday I went for a medical test. I was pleasantly surprised when the receptionist asked me how old I was. When I told her that I am 42 and will be 43 on Sunday, she said that I don't look it at all. That's what surprised me. So I spent the day walking on a cloud thinking about how well I am doing at aging gracefully. I do have some gray hair, but that's a good sign of wisdom, right? Proverbs 16:31 says, "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life."

But then this morning I happened to actually look at my reflection in the mirror. I even smiled at myself. That's when I saw it - wrinkles. Not one, or two, but at least a half dozen or more appeared under my eyes and at the corner of my eyes. I wondered what could have caused my skin to stretch over night. Or perhaps I slept funny and caused my face to get some creases where there weren't normally. Maybe all I needed was an iron to just press away the blemish. Alas I realized that it is just another sign of the aging process....

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, " Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." The signs of aging will continue to become visible in my mirror in the years to come. But I look forward to that day when I can be face to face with Jesus and be fully grown and matured in my faith.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Step Out in Faith

One of the things I have observed as I have been going through the results of the struggles we face as Christian women, is a longing we share. Women desire to have deep and meaningful relationships with other women. But I think fear is one of the biggest factors that affect this. We are afraid to step out and makes ourselves vulnerable to someone else. So we choose not to. By making that decision, we rob us of the thing we most desire - intimate friendships. Relationships like these require us to be open and willing to share. You will likely find that your friend faces some of the same struggles. Just think how much you can both grow if you are willing to open up and share about the things you are facing. You may find a prayer warrior in your friend. But you first must take that step of faith.

Another issue is lack of time. We find ourselves swamped with 'life'. There are more things on our 'to do' list each day than we can possibly finish. So what is the key to getting everything done? I don't know that there is a key to that. But I have been learning more about cleaning my home and keeping up with things, so I do have some of that free time needed to invest in a friend, or sometimes just alone time for me. I have been learning about some of the FlyLady strategies. You can learn more about it at: http://www.flylady.net/

What can you do this weekend to start developing or nurturing a friendship?