Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Coach!

 Lisa brought home my new baby this past weekend!  I was so excited for it to get here!  When she gave it to me I felt like it was Christmas!  The pretty bag and ribbons.
 It was all wrapped up in a nice bag.  I could smell the newness.  I could hardly contain myself!
There she is!  My brand new, genuine, authentic, first ever Coach handbag! (Lisa informed me it's not a purse, it is a handbag).  I know, a simple joy, but I was excited about it!  I never thought I would own a designer purse.  But thanks to an awesome sister who gets an awesome discount, it was made possible. I can promise you, Hannah & Chloe will not be playing purses with this purse! ... sorry Lisa, I meant handbag.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For This We Have Jesus

Guess What?!  I keep searching for love in all of the wrong places.  When will I ever learn that I am accepted and loved by the one and only one that matters?  I am loved by God.  I don't deserve it.  I can't earn it.  It's a gift of grace and mercy.  I make mistakes.  I am the chief sinner!  I don't trust God and I search out answers from all of the wrong places.  My heart, my actions, my thoughts...any that are not on God, are sin.  And as a dear friend said... for this we have Jesus.  For your mistakes you have Jesus, for my mistakes I have Jesus, the little ones and the big ones - we have Jesus!  God knows it all, and he loves me anyway.  I need Jesus everyday.  Only a fool refuses to recognize that need.  The question is will I accept what he's holding out for me to take: His love, grace & forgiveness?  On a daily basis - will I confess and repent - will I need Jesus? YES!   I need Jesus!  For eternal life - you need Jesus.  Today, do you accept your need and embrace it or will you take continue to deny it and choose death? No matter what you've done, he's waiting for you because he loves you anyway.

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With sin in my heart tried to bury your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

Friday, August 5, 2011

Name Your Blessings

I made it!  I made it through the week so far at least.  Today marks exactly one year since I found out.  I know I seem to always have it together, and everyone always says I'm strong, and doing something they never could, etc.  But I'll be honest with you all - I do not have it all together.  Just ask my amazing friend MH how many times I've called her this week crying so hard I couldn't hardly breathe.  This isn't easy, and the ONLY reason I am surviving is because God is giving me the strength and keeping my focus on Him.  To celebrate this unwelcome anniversary date, I've decided to name my blessings and share some of them with you.  It is by no means an exhaustive list, I don't have enough room for them all, and they are in no particular order.  Some of them are no brainers, and some of them you won't understand what planet I'm from.  But they are coming from a place of honesty, pure joy and thanksgiving.   James 1:16-17 "Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.  EVERY good gift and every perfect gift is from above"  Everything is a gift from God, you just have to be willing to have the eyes to recognize it.  So here is my list...
My parents, sisters & their families...no matter what, they've got my back.  They are defensive of me and love me beyond words. It can be rough, but I don't know what I'd do without them all.
Jon's family...they are all my family.  I don't know how I would make it through without some of their love, understanding and support.  Others have taught me huge lessons in patience, thinking before speaking, and having a gentle & quiet spirit.  Regardless, I love them all because they are forever a part of my journey, and that makes them a blessing I am grateful for.
Friends, extended family, FBC and sisters in Christ...old ones, new ones, near ones, far ones.  Ones that I have known for years and new ones that I have met in this process that have come along side me.  You all pray for me, take care of me, fight for me, love me, encourage me, and so much more.  God has placed each and every one of you in my life to bring Him glory.  I thank God for all of you, which I wish I could name you all, but the list is more than I even know where to start.  God has blessed me by using you to walk this with me.
My kids...I am so excited to watch the faith that is growing in my kids.  The lessons they are learning are more than I ever would have been able to provide before.  Their faith is mind-blowing and I love it!  My kids are precious and I love them more than I can  express.  Their hugs, tears, love, words, and cuddling are all gifts from God.
The "other women"...I know WHAT AM I THINKING!  But I'm serious, for all of the ones that I already know about, and for all of the ones that I don't know about yet - they are a blessing to me.  These women have taught me the reality of what it really means to love your enemy.  In daily praying for each of them by name, and in general, God has grown me in having compassion and understanding for those who wish me harm.  It seems weird even to me, but my heart breaks for these women because they are each loved by God!  But I am thankful that God has placed them in my life to teach me lessons I would never have learned without them.  And it brings along the next blessing...
God is my shield, my protector, my avenger...I am so thankful for this.  I don't have to worry about getting back, or being angry, or making it right.  I could list a ton of verses here, but 1 jumps out Isaiah 54:17 "no weapon that is fashioned against you will succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord."  I don't have to worry about anyone who is against me, because one day, every knee shall bow and every one will answer for their unrepentant sins against me.  Wrath belongs to God, not me - and that is a blessing because it sets me free from anger and bitterness!!  God does not give his blessing to sinful lives, and maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day, all who are against a child of God, will pay the price.
My Husband...I am so blessed to have Jon as my husband.  God has used Jon as a tool to save me!  Amazing!  Jon is the love of my life and no matter what he does, God has given him to me as a blessing.  Jon's name means "Gift from God".  And I am so thankful for God's gifts, including my husband.  God has used Jon teach me what unconditional love really is.  God used Jon to bring me to where I am today.  I consider it an honor to love and to be married to Jon.  God has specifically called me to love this man, and above all I will be obedient to God.
My salvation...God blessed me with the gift of salvation.  I deserve hell, but God, in grace and mercy, saved me.  What bigger blessing is there than that?
I could go on - our house, my job, my finances, our material things, my strengths, my weaknesses, my lessons learned, etc.  But I'll stop for now.  Whether you are willing to admit them or not, every thing in your life is a gift from God, as a way to bless you, or as a way to show you your need for him.  And when you're down & out on life, name your blessings.  It helps.