I’m a Believer

…blessed is she that believed… -Luke 1:45

Old, Young, or Somewhere In Between? September 19, 2014

Filed under: Christian Living,christian women,women's ministry — Laura @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

old young middle hands

HOW TO FEEL OLD

  1. Have a baby at age 43.
  2. When baby is one, take baby to park on a weekday morning.
  3. Observe yoga pants clad mommies nimbly chasing and playing with their babies.
  4. Count their wrinkles…. count your own.  Sigh.
  5. Wonder if the “Mom or Grandma?” look in their eyes is better or worse than the “Fat or Pregnant?” look you received last year at this time.
  6. Try not to grunt as you pick up your baby’s sippy cup for the 10th time.
  7. Make eye contact with one pretty young mommy and ask how old her child is.
  8. Notice the tired look in her eyes as she answers “11 months.” (Translation:  “The longest 11 months of my life!”)
  9. Blow your cover, and answer the “Mom or Grandma?” look by letting her know that you have a grown child and two teens.
  10. Smile and tell her to enjoy these days because it goes so quickly.
  11. Smile again when she says, “Really?”  You know that it seems to her that the days and nights can be so long.

HOW TO FEEL YOUNG

  1. Have a baby at age 43.
  2. When baby is one, take baby to grocery store EARLY on a weekday morning.
  3. Observe comfy-shoes glad grandmothers and grandfathers slowly walking the aisles trying to remember what they are looking for.
  4. Count their wrinkles…count your own.  Smile.
  5. Notice the nostalgic look in their eyes as they smile sweetly at your baby.
  6. Offer to get the green beans from the top shelf for the sweet little lady smiling at your baby.
  7. Make eye contact with her as she says “She is beautiful.  Is she your first?”
  8. Admit that, no you have three older children, one in her twenties.
  9. Smile when she says “Oh honey!  You look like you are in your twenties yourself!” Remind yourself that the eyes are often the first to go.
  10. Wonder at the serious note in her voice when she looks pointedly at you and says “I bet you are enjoying every moment,” almost as if it is a command.
  11. Assure her, that, yes, you are, because you know that it goes so quickly.
  12. Appreciate her wisdom when she tells you “It certainly does.  Faster every year.”  She knows all too well that the days and nights seem so long, but the years can be so short.  She also knows that her dim eyes see the passage of time far more clearly that your younger eyes do.

HOW TO APPRECIATE THE IN-BETWEEN

  1. Accept and enjoy this “middle age” that God has given you along with all your unique circumstances and experiences.
  2. Thank Him for always knowing what will bring you joy and for His sufficiency.
  3. Pray that God allows you to be that middle-aged lady, and, in later years, that little old lady, that will always encourage younger women to enjoy what God has placed in their hands at that moment.
  4. Even though you are neither very young, nor very old, but somewhere in between, remember that His timing is always perfect, and that every day has at least one gift that can be enjoyed from any perspective.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, {Titus 2:3-4 KJV}

I’m a Believer!

Laura

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Linky Blog Love – The Deep End March 9, 2009

deep-end-pool-2I thought I would share with you one of my favorite blogs on the internet, my husband’s blog – Swim The Deep End.

Sometimes he’s got a Bible study going on, sometimes he’s Just Sayin’, sometimes he’s playing doctor, or teaching S.W.I.M. lessons.  Occasionally he’s having a bold conversation about Jesus with a professing atheist.  Often, he shares quotes from admirable people of faith. 

There is only one complete and total inaccuracy on his website.  In this quote about me you will also discover his delightful unique sense of humor and gift for sarcasm:

She is sleek and fast in the water, sort of a cross between a torpedo and a Mako shark. You should see her rocket up out of the surf onto a floating inflatable raft. Simply spectacular.

What can I say?  I married a marvelously complex, multi-talented man who also has a love for God’s word.  So long as he’s swimming the deep end and not going off the deep end, I’m grateful. 

Stop by and take the opportunity to either SINK or SWIM.

II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

God’s Holy Word is the instruction manual for life. In it we find doctrine (what is RIGHT), reproof (what is WRONG), correction (how to DO right), and instruction (how to STAY right.) If we don’t look in God’s Word, and learn how to S.W.I.M. (See What It Means), then we run the risk that we might S.I.N.K. (Step In Not Knowing). Spend time reading your Bible each and every day. God’s promise is that it is “profitable.”

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

What Should I Get? March 2, 2009

In keeping with my “New Year’s Revelation,” here are a few more things we need to get, straight from God’s word.  (They would all make great t-shirt slogans, wouldn’t they?)

life-cerealGet a Life!

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life ~1 John 5:12

 

dallas_cowboys_helmet_rightface1Life’s Tough, Get a Helmet!

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  ~Ephesians 6:17

 

hands-holding-bibleGet a Grip!

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  ~2 Thessalonians 2:15

 

 

What do you need to get from God’s word?  Leave a comment & let me know!

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Daughters… January 23, 2009

gulf-shores-2008-129I have three…three girls that God saw fit to give to my husband and me.  (Amazin’ in itself!)   I’m the oldest and only daughter with three little brothers, so even though I am a girl, I was a little concerned about what to do with girls, having grown up taking care of boys.  I was grateful when baby number one was a girl because my mom always told me that “Every mommy needs a little girl.” (It still makes me feel special when I think about that – thanks, mom!)   Whew – I was glad to get that out of the way.  After that, I just knew the others would be boys.  BOY, was I wrong.  Two more beautiful baby girls.  And I was grateful for them, too!  And now, well, here’s the problem…

It has recently come to my attention that these three girls are growing up.  As I said to my husband in December (with a new sense of realization)  “THE BABY IS NINE!!”  And just this month, my oldest has turned 16, gotten a driver’s license, and started her first job.  Last summer my sweet middle child 🙂  hit double digits!!

This has thrown me into a little bit of shock, I think.  I’m to the point of struggling on a daily basis with measuring the amount of mercy and grace I give to each child, wondering if I’m being too lenient or too strict.  Am I holding them back from discovering something wonderful, or am I protecting them from being discovered by evil?  Am I parenting by faith, in full assurance that God has His hand on their hearts and their lives, or am I parenting in fear, living out every “what if” scenario in my mind in great detail?  Sometimes I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even know what to pray for.  For those of you who have done this, or are in the process of doing this, maybe you can agree that THIS IS HARD. 

I found something this morning that helped me immensely!  I dug a beautiful treasure out of God’s word that spoke to me suddenly and strongly.

…that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:  ~Psalm 144:12b

King David was praying for protection for his kingdom and thanking God for all the strength and provision He gives His people and he stopped and asked that the daughters would be “as corner stones.”  And not just any plain old cornerstones (too boring!) – but “polished” and “after the similitude of a palace.”  This is breathtaking to me.

What exactly is a cornerstone?  Well, off hand I know that Jesus is the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).  That’s good company to be in!  We are supposed to be becoming more and more like Jesus, so praying for my daughters to be corner stones seems like a fabulous idea!

Corner stones in this scripture probably more specifically mean  pillars.  Pillars were used in building temples and palaces.  They were the support system the structure.  Pillars of old temples and palaces were beautifully carved, carefully crafted, and this verse refers to them as being “polished.”  

I yearn for my daughters to be polished, yet  I can’t imagine that polishing stones or pillars of stone is an easy process.  It must involve cutting away parts of the stone that won’t meet the design standards.  Surely it involves a constant attention to bringing out the beauty of the stone without marring it.  It must take a careful hand to cut the stone to the proper size and shape and yet maintain the strength and integrity of the original material.  I’m certain it has to be difficult to balance these tall structures so that they will stand strong and not topple, for if they fall, they may shatter into tiny pieces that can’t be put back together again.

But when the stone is finally fashioned, this verse says that it is fit for use in a palace!  What better place for a daughter of the King of kings, than a palace?

This is my prayer for my daughters – that they “would be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”

I can see that it will be a long, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, sometimes tedious process.  I know my husband and I won’t be able to do it by ourselves.  We will need the Master Craftsman to guide our hearts and our hands and fix our mistakes.  He may have to take the chisel out of our hands and replace it with a gentle polishing cloth, or point out to us a rough spot that we ignored because it seemed to difficult to reach.  But when I see my girls standing strong, supporting whatever is placed upon them, carefully polished into the beautifully strong yet fragile pillars that God has designed them to be,  I know it will be worth it.

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.   ~Philippians 3:20-4:1

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Get to Gettin’! January 6, 2009

Throughout the holiday season, I found myself doing some serious “getting” !  I had to go GET groceries, go GET the kids, GET a gift for a party, GET ready to go.  People asked me “What are you GETTING for Christmas?”  I had to GET some things done.  I needed to GET my house clean, GET my Christmas tree, GET the ornaments down from the attic, GET the tree decorated.  With all that “getting” I also GOT tired!!!

As I was reading the Bible yesterday morning.  I came across this verse:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.  ~Proverbs 4:7

This verse really spoke to me.  First, because it was worded in a way that makes it humorous to me.  It sounds like something I would tell my kids – “Go get your backpack and everything you need, and with all your getting get your dirty clothes off the floor!” 

But as I looked at it further, I noticed that it really speaks to what needs to be first.  It says “Wisdom is the principal thing…”  The word that is translated “principal” means FIRST, BEGINNING, BEST, or CHOICE PART.  As I start 2009, I need to first seek wisdom.  I need to start from the beginning looking for wisdom.  I should know that wisdom is the best thing.   Wisdom should be the part that I choose first and foremost.  Wisdom is what I should be GETTING! 

And not only that, with all the time I’m getting all that wisdom, I need to get UNDERSTANDING.  I’ve found that it requires UNDERSTANDING to apply wisdom in any way that is helpful.  What good is all the wisdom in the world if I don’t understand how to use it or apply it?  The word UNDERSTANDING in this verse also means discernment.  Boy, do I need some discernment!  There are so many things I need to understand about God, about His word, about what His word says about me.  I also need understanding in dealing with other people.  I need to understand what their needs are.  I need to have discernment about how God would have me minister.  I need to understand what God is trying to teach me at any given time.  I NEED understanding!

I don’t do well with New Year’s resolutions, so this will be my New Year’s “revelation”: 

GET TO GETTIN’! 

This is going to mean spending more time in God’s word and at God’s side.   I do pray that God gives me the spirit of wisdom and that the eyes of my understanding will be enlightened so that I can KNOW what it is that He has for me and just how powerful our God is !

[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,   ~Ephesians 1:17-19

Happy New Year!  Go get some wisdom, and while you’re at it, don’t forget the understanding!

For more on what you can get from God’s word, click here.

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Women’s Conference Update November 13, 2008

Dream Team 2008

Dream Team 2008

Our Dream Big Women’s Conference was a tremendous success!!  Pictures are posted at our church website… here.  I’ll post more later, but wanted to put the photo link up quickly.

Also, my friend Rena posted her testimony about the conference here

We’d all love to hear your thoughts and testimonies if you attended.  Leave a comment when you get a chance and share anything the Lord showed you through this ministry.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO DREAMS PASTthe message I preached at the conference.

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Daily Mercies – The Best Way for Bad Things to Happen November 10, 2008

daily_mercies2My friend Rena & her sister Ginger have started a new “meme” called The Daily Mercies in which we are encouraged to share a story or testimony of how we’ve seen God’s mercy at work in our life or in the lives of others.  What a great idea!  I’m so excited!  Now I’ll have a place to record all those wonderful moments when I get to see God’s hand.  At the moment it happens, His hand may be SO OBVIOUS, but in a few days, or in different circumstances, I’m tempted to forget those “Daily Mercies” that He shows me.  So thanks, Rena & Gin!  You’ll help me to remember…

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
1 Chronicles 16:12-13

So, for my first Daily Mercy, I would like to share with you how God can allow bad things to happen to you, but happen in the best way possible.

As I pulled out of Hobby Lobby parking lot after a delicious lunch with my friend Rena, I thought about which way to go.  Left to the interstate – quicker.  Right to the back way – less traffic…  I decided to go right, the back way.  Something seemed daunting about the interstate. 

As I drove down the road about 2 miles from Hobby Lobby, 3 miles from the interstate, 6 miles from home, 20 yards from a stop sign, and 100 yards away from an old bridge in the middle of road construction, my gas pedal suddenly went to the floor, all the dashboard lights came on, and my three year old van stalled.  GREAT! (That’s a sarcastic “GREAT”, by the way.)  As I tried to crank it again, it WOULD NOT START!  So, I sat.  A sitting duck in a bright blue van 20 yards away from a stop sign. 

I tried to turn on my flashers.   My battery was so dead, I could not even turn my flashers on.  I tried to put the van in neutral so that I (haha) could push it onto the shoulder and out of the main lane.  The battery was too dead to allow me to put the car in neutral.  What???

And so I called my friend who has recently decided that she will not talk on the phone while she is driving.  Great idea – but I think she was driving when I called.  No answer.  I promptly forgot that my other friend lived 2 minutes away, so I didn’t call her.  Then I remembered the ringtone on my phone  “When you call on Jesus, all things are possible…” it sings at me regularly.  So I called on Jesus and tried to start the car again.  Nope.  So I called my husband at work, my regular knight in shining armor who always comes to my pathetic rescue when I need it.  The rescue is not pathetic – no, it is far from pathetic, it is always selfless and noble, and I’m grateful for that.

As I sat IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, I figured I better get out of the van in case anyone plowed slap into me as I waited for my hero.  Alrighty then – There I stood, beside a stalled car.  The children would be getting off the bus in 45 minutes.  Oh look – I suddenly saw a tow truck.  “Maybe he’ll stop!”  (That’s me talking to myself.)  Nope.  Sit, sit, sit.  Wave to direct people  – “Just go around it.  I’ll just stand here.  Thanks for stopping. ”  (More sarcasm – no one had stopped.)

Aha!  A police car!  Yes!  “Hey!   Yooo hoooo…”   Wave, wave, wave…. Over here!! Wave higher, wave bigger, wave louder….  Oh – he turned.  But look – that creepy guy that looks remarkably like the uni-bomber is headed my way.  He must have thought I was waving at him instead of the at the cops.  I wonder if he’ll let me borrow his “hoodie” or his mirrored sunglasses, or maybe his house shoes. 

A black pickup truck pulled up behind me, just as UniBomber made his way to my front fender.  The kind, older, trustworthy-looking man inside asked how he could help.  He jump-started the van so that we could put it in neutral and push it onto the LOVELY CORNER LOT that I was just inches from.  He shoooed away UniBomber and assured me that he “Had his eye on that fruitcake.” 

Five minutes later, my knight in shining Mazda showed up and took it from there.  

What on earth does that have to do with the mercy of God?  I’m so glad you asked. 

I’m learning to be thankful to God for times like this.  Times when it is inevitable that something has to go wrong – car batteries and pcv hoses (whatever that is) don’t last forever.  It was time for my van to break down.  But the breakdown didn’t happen when I was flying down an unknown interstate in Georgia just the week before.  It didn’t break down in the middle of New Orleans while I had a vanload of kids only 2 days before.  It didn’t break down on a rickety bridge.  It didn’t break down on the interstate.  It broke down just inches away from a lovely corner with plenty of room to park.  My husband was not in court or in an appointment when I called.  The uni-bomber didn’t get me. 

I believe that God’s MERCY has to do with His witholding bad things from us.  God withholds so many bad things from happening to us every day.  We usually don’t know the extent of His mercy towards us.  Sometimes, though, as in this instance, we get a little glimpse.  It was time for my car to break down – it was time for “something bad” to happen.  But God allowed it to be in the best way possible.  He loves us, He wants good things for us, and many times He provides those things by His mercy. 

This is why Jesus says that we can have peace.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Did you hear that?  Jesus says that we can have peace in Him.  In the midst of the troubles of this world (i.e., car trouble), we can be of good cheer – that means happy and not anxious, because He has overcome the world.  When we are in Him, He can allow us those breakdowns that have to happen, but they can be turned into breakthroughs when He has directed our paths.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.  Psalm 121:8

I’m grateful that my help comes from Him and that He preserves me and keeps me and that His mercies are new every morning.  Visit Rena & Ginger to hear what else our merciful God is up to.

I’m a Believer!

Laura