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
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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

 

Perspectives on Motherhood May 9, 2010

Me with the girls who call me "Mom"

The idea of motherhood for me has changed a great deal from when I was a child and HAD a mom (note:  I still have a mom!), to when I had children of my own and BECAME a mom.  Here are some things I have learned:

  • When you are a child and you HAVE a mom, you may think she has some pretty strange tastes.  She likes the end piece of the bread, she always eats the burnt piece of chicken, and how can she stand those licorice jelly beans?

When you ARE a mom, you realize that when you go to make yourself a sandwich, the only pieces of bread that will be left in the bread bag are the end pieces.  At dinner you know that lonely burnt piece of chicken will just sit there unless you eat it –besides, you burned it, you earned it, you get to eat it!  And black jelly beans… well if you ever hope to eat another jelly bean at Easter time, you better learn to like the black ones.  They are my mom’s favorites.

  • When you HAVE a mom, you think it is sooooooo sweet that she always saves that last piece of cake and puts it up on a special little plate up in the cabinet just for you.

When you ARE a mom, you remind yourself once again, that next time you need to find a better hiding place for your secret snack time treats.

And just when you are tempted to have a pity party for yourself, you realize that Mom does not live by bread (or chicken or jelly beans) alone and that the most important nourishment you can get will come from God’s word.  (Luke 4:4)

  • When you HAVE a mom, there may be times when you are convinced that she is not nearly as fun as Dad and wonder why she doesn’t always come with you and Dad to the park, or the lake, or on a bike ride.

When you ARE a mom, you find yourself daydreaming about Dad walking in the door and announcing Prince Charming style that he is taking the kids to the park, because you know what that means…. you are going to get…. a BATH!

And just when you are about to lose your mind wondering if you’ll ever wash your hair again, you are reminded that a clean pure heart is even more important to God.  (Matthew 5:8)

  • When you HAVE a mom, you may think she does some strange things like crying when she is happy?!

When you ARE a mom, you know in your heart that those initial tears of joy you shed when you first saw your baby’s sweet face are only the beginning of many tears that you will have throughout the life of this child:  happy tears, sad tears, frustrated tears, worried tears, prayerful tears.

And just when we begin to wonder what all this crying in about, we can remind ourselves that our tears are precious to God.  The Bible says He sees our tears, saves our tears, and one day will wipe away all our tears.  (Psalm 126:5, Psalm 56:8, Revelation 21:4)

  • When you have a mom, you may find yourself wondering why she can’t be a “cool mom” that’s more like a best friend than a parent.

When you ARE a mom, you will find yourself calling your really cool best friend (who just happens to be your Mom) and asking her when you can quit being mom & just be a friend to your child.  She’ll tell you that the better parent you are now, the better friend you will have later.

And just when you are about to give up on your child having the kind of friends she needs, you will remember to tell her that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and He is always there. (Proverbs 18:24)

  • When you HAVE a mom, you know that if you cry out because you had a bad dream, she will be beside your bed to comfort you.

When you ARE a mom and you hear that little cry from down the hall, first you wonder why Daddy ears don’t work as well as Mommy ears in the middle of the night, and then you rush to your child’s bed to assure her everything will be ok.

Just when you start to wonder how long you will have to make these midnight comfort runs, you are reminded that you won’t always get to, but that you serve the God of all comfort who promises His children that He is a very present help in time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

  • When you HAVE a mom, you know she loves you.

When you ARE a mom, you suddenly know HOW MUCH she has loved you.

You also begin to get a glimpse, just a glimpse, of how much God must love you. (John 3:16)

  • When you have a mom, you are convinced that even though she does some things you don’t understand, she is the greatest mom in the world.

When you ARE a mom, you look around at other moms and you are convinced that you are NOT the greatest mom in the world.

Then you remember who gave you this job.  God Himself has graciously given you this job!  Your job is to raise your children so that they can move from depending on you to depending on God.  And as you serve this great God, He has everything you need to be the mother He has called you to be.  (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Motherhood itself is the perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, who has taught me so much & loved me through all the tough stuff, and to all the other moms out there trying to do the best you can for your children.

I’d love to hear what perspectives motherhood has changed for you.  Leave a note in the comments…

I’m a Believer!
Laura

 

Oh, The Depth of the Riches… February 18, 2009

I haven’t been writing much lately (as you can tell), but I have been studying in preparation for upcoming ministry opportunities.  In looking back over old beach retreat information, I found something I had written after one of our ladies’ retreats.   I thought I’d post it here.

May, 2007

bw-beach-girls3Imagine standing at the edge of the seashore with our toes barely at the surf line, occasionally the waves reach out and touch us, lapping at our feet. Sometimes we take this touch as an invitation, and wade deeper; sometimes it makes us run backwards, depending on our desire to get wet. Often, we have stood at the edge of God with our toes (and our hearts) barely at the edge of what He has for us. Occasionally He will come closer to us than He has been, and we find ourselves ankle deep. To some of us this is thrilling, to others of us, frightening . Sometimes we wade deeper into Him, sometimes we retreat, because we are just not ready to get that wet, to be fully immersed.

We stand as sisters, united through Jesus Christ, yet all separate people. Some older, some younger, both physically and spiritually, all wanting to go in the same direction, but not knowing exactly what is out there, beneath the visible surface. Some of us are looking forward, towards the unknown vastness of what God has for us, some looking back at the footprints of where we have been, all of us at the edge of possibility in God.

As we stand at the edge of the seashore, it seems as if we are touching eternity. These same sands and waters have been here since “God created,” and have touched the feet of countless souls. The ocean is so much like God-much more vast and powerful than we can ever imagine. All we can experience with our mortal bodies is the surface. When we, through faith, allow God to be our sustainer, we are carried up over the tops of the waves, into the midst of deeper love and trust. The ocean is always moving, never standing still, changing the shoreline and nearly everything it comes into contact with, but it is always the ocean. So God is-eternal and unchanging, yet infinite and never standing still. Once you have been touched by God, your shoreline will be changed, and your rough edges washed away.

And so we stand at the edge, dressed in His righteousness, ready to go forward, linked up with our sisters. As we hold hands and proceed forward we are able to help our sisters overcome when the waves get big, to go back and pick them up when they get knocked down, to bring them forward when they fall behind, to laugh together as we triumphantly make it over the top of another wave, and to encourage each other to go deeper.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! ~Romans 11:33

I’m a Believer!

Laura

For more on the deep things of God, visit my husband’s blog at  www.swimthedeepend.wordpress.com.

 

Conference Synopsis – Guest Writer! November 17, 2008

My friend Judy always writes such sweet summaries of the fun we have at church.  She gave me permission to post this on my blog – YAY!!  Thanks, Judy…

flowers-shirt-dream-bigI’m surrounded by notes, pamphlets, CD’s, name tags, gift bags and more notes, all having to do with the 7th Annual Women’s Conference that was held November 7th and 8th, 2008. The theme, of course, was Dream BIG!

To get a handle on what this conference meant, you would have to go back several weeks, to the first meeting in August, when the theme was revealed. LaDon did a skit for us and I just knew our theme was “Get Out of the Box”, but that wasn’t it. There was more to this conference than those before it. This was to be our 7th year – our Sabbath Conference! This put a whole new emphasis on the conference. Not only could we expect God to pour out a harvest on seed previously sown, but also in areas we haven’t sown at all!!! Our Conference Scripture, Ephesians 3:20, says ‘Now to Him who is able to do EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’. How perfectly appropriate that in this, our Sabbath Year, we could expect such a harvest that would EXCEED ABUNDANTLY all that we had DREAMED (seed sown) or could DREAM (seed unsown)! And so it was that our theme, Dream BIG, had been birthed!

Our monthly “Joy Rides” were transformed to our “Dream Dates”. But our September Dream Date was not what we expected. Hurricane Gustav had roared through (devouring whom he could…) and had knocked out power to our entire area, including the church. But Praise God, we had POWER on 9/11/08! (We had electricity, too!) Attendance was light, but those who came were blessed. We were reminded that our home – our true home – is in Heaven. Anything the hurricane blew away was only temporary anyway. We were reminded to let God complete us.

Meetings and planning and practices continued through the month of September and October, bringing us to the very weekend for the Conference. We’re always so excited to see what God will do!

journey_to_heaven_1

JOURNEY TO HEAVEN

Friday evening, walking into the sanctuary, the beauty of the decorations was only matched by the filling Spirit that seemed to be everywhere. Even with an Interstate shut-down delaying traffic, we had 100 ladies registered Friday evening. After grazing through a lavish buffet of all kinds of wonderful dishes, we went into the sanctuary. Delma and Cochise were back to kick things off.

LaDon presented a drama about the Journey to Heaven and then Lollie spoke about our Dream Home – that heavenly place that is already prepared for us! It was hard to leave, but we did have an early morning call.

Saturday started with our great smoothies and assorted breakfast pastry goodies, then Jenny Rogers spoke on Dreams Present, reminding us of the story of Joseph. LaDon presented another drama – the Scarlet Cord – Present, about Rahab.

Scarlet Cord - Present

The Scarlet Cord - Present

After a coffee break, Lollie’s Dream Girls handed out the cutest Goodie Bags full of all kinds of neat things. The bags were made up like little tuxedos. Too cute! LaDon was back with the Scarlet Cord – Past, showing us where Rahab had been.

The Scarlet Cord - Past

The Scarlet Cord - Past

Laura spoke on Dreams Past, reminding us to learn from our past, remembering where God has brought us FROM, but to let go of the past in order to move to the future! The analogy of the monkey bars was perfect. I think next the door prizes were drawn and given out – my memory isn’t what it used to be. Regardless of WHEN, I do know that there were LOTS of door prizes!

We had a fabulous catered lunch with extra goodies from our wonderful River of Life cooks, and we were served by a few of our faithful men, in white shirts, black slacks, bow ties, and starched white man-aprons! Always such a treat to have the men wait on us!

Right after lunch, the crowd was entertained by the Dream Girls – a group of our more mature ladies, dancing in their PJ’s and robes to a mix tape of “dream” lyrics! Did I mention the curlers and mud packs?

rahab_future_1

The Scarlet Cord - Future

After group worship, LaDon was back with one more drama – the Scarlet Cord – Future, showing us where Rahab finally ends up. Jenny Rogers played and sang a special song and then Lollie spoke of Dreams Future. We are to live in the present but we are given the HOPE of our FUTURE with God in Heaven!

By the end of the weekend, we knew that God had been present in our past (the planning), our present (every aspect of the conference) and our future (the harvest even yet to come). We all may have different concepts of what dreaming is all about, but if you were at this conference, you left knowing that the key to our Dreams is Jesus.

 

I’m a Believer! (and a Dreamer!)

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

 

I Have to Believe (Song) October 30, 2008

I know I posted the lyrics to this song on here before, by my playlist song disappeared, so I can’t hear the song anymore. Here’s a youtube video of the same song. I love this song, and I hope you do too! Enjoy!

I’m a Believer!
Laura