Friday, February 28, 2014

Finding JOY in Chaos!

I went grocery shopping after work last night. I will be honest, grocery shopping is not on my list of things I love to do. 

The Shopping cart was full and the kids were helping me unload at the check out counter. Now, this is the moment I look to make sure the kids haven't randomly thrown something extra in to the cart. 

I was anxious to pay, and head home to spend time with my babies. I swiped my check card, only for the cashier to lean over and whisper the 4 dreaded words ...your card was denied. I looked at him and said, "let me try again". In my mind I am thinking, "There is obviously something wrong with the machine or this cashier messed something up." You know, trying to make myself feel better after being told my card was denied. Swiped it a second time...denied.  I said, "let me call the bank." Glanced at my was after five. That idea backfired.  I stood there for a minute thinking to myself. Then it came to me! I received a new check card in the mail two weeks ago because they believed my card had been "tampered with". I obviously forgot to activate the new card and now my old one did not work! Yikes! 

I asked if I could leave the cart of groceries there, run home and get my new card. Honestly, I felt seriously inconvenienced.  (Even though this was completely my fault by not switching to my new card.) I was tired and just wanted to spend, one night we had at home this week, with my loved ones. NOT running around activating my new card, only to drive back to the grocery store to pay for the groceries (that they were graciously holding for me.) Need I remind you, this situation was not helping the fact that grocery shopping is not my favorite. 

We drove home, found my new card, activated it and drove back to the grocery store. I Walked in and headed towards the costumer service desk. I was on a mission (for the second time) to get in and out quickly. There it was...the line...the never.ending.line.  I not only saw 1, not 2, but 12 people waiting in line.  At that moment in the grocery escapade, I was tempted to scream... "FIRE"....  This would have helped me move from costumer 13 to costumer 1 real quick! I decided against it (you know, didn't want to embarrass my children) and found myself waiting in the back of the line. Hello number 13! 

As I was standing there, looking at my groceries WAY in the front of the line, I remembered a conversation I had with Jada and Sky that very morning. Here was the conversation topic: we can always find JOY in any situation. Whoa! I needed to hear my own words. There is no exceptions... We literally can find JOY if we change our perspective in the situation. 
Perspective  (and yes, attitude)
After realizing Joy IS possible amongst the chaos, the grocery trip became an adventure instead of a drudgery. 

Look for joy AND change your perspective when life is not going as planned.  It is guaranteed to help you on the adventure of your daily life...even in those crazy, unplanned moments.  

Always be joyful. (1 Thessalonians 5:16) 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Opportunities! What if....

I enjoy opportunities to try new things. Tonight I ventured out and tried Ceviche.  I could try to explain what Ceviche is, but Wikipedia makes it sound so much better: 

"Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers."

Now that you have a mental picture, let's continue. 

Time for the first bite...
I picked up the fork and my mind began to think "what if". What if... I don't like it. If I don't like it, will I continue to eat it or try to politely spit it out. Okay, I know, "polite" and "spit" just don't go together. 

I didn't want to miss the opportunity of trying something new. So, I stopped thinking of the "what if" and took my first bite. I discovered I like Ceviche. Success! 

God places new opportunities before us daily. (I am talking more than Ceviche, of course.) We have to be aware of the opportunities, take hold of them, and experience what God has in store for us. Are we willing to partake in what He intended for us or do we let our minds think "what if". 

What if... I don't like what God has planned. 
What if... I can't do it the way God  wants. 
What if... I mess up. 

Don't let your "what if" stop you from the opportunity God has intended for you. Seize every opportunity and dig in to Gods goodness for your life! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Treasures in Life

This morning, as I was laying in bed reading my bible, I found a special letter. The letter was written and mailed to me about 10 years ago. It is awesome how I keep coming back to this letter! 

This was not the first letter I had received from her. (I know you must be trying to figure out who the letter is from. Don't worry I will get to that.) Writing letters was just her special way of saying "I love you", "I am thinking of you", and "I am praying for you." I didn't realize how special the letters were until I grew older. I wish I would have kept every single one. The special lady who sent the memorable and encouraging letters is my Grandma Gray! 

She is now older and the letters have stopped. Which breaks my heart! I don't get to see her much, but every time I talk with her, she NEVER fails to let me know she is praying for me. I know those are not just mere words...she is and has always been my PRAYER WARRIOR! 

I want to share a little from the letter I found in my bible this morning. I hope her words touch your heart, as much as they have mine...

All of us...reflect the glory of The Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from The Lord, who is the spirit, transforms us into His likeness in an ever greater degree of Glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18

My Dear Tiffany,

One sunny day, I noticed something shining brightly in the grass, it was shining so intensely that I was convinced it must be a valuable jewel. I ran and picked it up! 

What disappointment! The "jewel" I had seen was a worthless piece of glass, dusty but still shining in the sunlight. My sense of being let down was acute, but as I thought about the piece of glass, I learned an unexpected lesson.

What was no more than a discarded piece of glass could still reflect the magnificence of the sun. Gods astonishing intention for us is this: although we're set in the dusty environment of this world, we can still absorb God's Glory and reflect it to others. And one day we will be jewels for God; we will shine in His land like the "jewels" of a crown! 

The letter STILL has so much to say to me every time I read it! My Grandma is a blessing, a treasure, a true Woman of God, my prayer warrior! I am unbelievably blessed, beyond measure, with special people in my life! Thank you Lord! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

She Gets It!

I love being able to pick up my kiddos from school! And this is one of the reasons why...

Yesterday the kids jumped in the car, and started telling me about their day. Jada had her bible in her hand and immediately starting talking about her religion class. She opened her bible, as I was driving home, and began to read different scriptures out loud. I glanced over as she was reading and noticed post it notes all throughout her bible. The post its were full of notes she had written. (Let me just say, that sight was a blessing to me. I will forever have that moment frozen in my memory!)

After reading the verses she had marked, she began to share with me what they discussed in religion class.  She had questions... And she went straight to Gods word for the answers. She gets it!! 

What does she get...
The word of God is active and living! (Hebrews 4:12)
The word of God is God-breathed! (2 Timothy 3:17-17)

She knows to go straight to the word of God for answers! 

I am thankful she has questions. I am thankful she wants to dig deeper. I am thankful she yearns to grow! I am thankful God is working on her heart! 

If you have questions in your life or trying to figure out the next step... Pray, open your bible, and let HIM speak to you through His word. Don't miss what God wants to share with YOU!! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Distracted? Trying to find quiet time!

There were days, when my children were younger, I would go hide in the bathroom and lock the door to have some quiet time.  I longed for a few minutes alone with God that was completely uninterrupted. In between cleaning, laundry, cooking, homeschooling... I desperately needed to hear his voice.  

I would close the door and take a deep breath. 60 seconds behind the closed door and there they came... Those little, sticky, precious fingers trying to pry their way under the bathroom door. Any other Moms have children who were blessed with the amazing talent of seeking? They WILL find you! 

Make time with God.  (Even if you have to meet with God in the bathroom.) Be determined to stay focused on HIM even when you are frazzled and life becomes chaotic.  Don't let the noise of your life drown out HIS voice! We need to adjust to God's pace and let Him guide us daily! "He wants to enter into your busy schedule and minister to you and soothe you with His peace and His joy." Spend time with Him, think about Him throughout your day and you will start to recognize His voice! 

"When we daily make a divine appointment with Him; we will experience tremendous blessings to deal with our daily schedules. It is our responsibility to make sure nothing stands in the way of our time with Jesus--especially when we don't have time." 

Make time with Jesus sweet friends!! It will change the course of your day, week, month, year!!