Friday, September 24, 2010

Here and Now...There and Then Week 3

Revelation this week was Great! I loved this video. In Bible Study we are doing Here and Now, There and Then, by Beth Moore. In Session 3 we had an overview of Chapters 2 and 3, and reviewed Revelation 1:10. How encouraging that each letter includes a promise to those who overcome! It is the will of God to use the things we are going through in life to strengthen us. In whatever crisis we may be in or facing (health, job, finances, family, friends)...we are not under it...it is under you! We are overcomers, live on top of it, not underneath it. Say that to yourself every time you think of that particular situation!

These seven letters make two facts unmistakable: He is completely PRESENT and acutely AWARE! There is nothing that happens to us that surprises our Maker. He is completely PRESENT and acutely AWARE, all the time! We praise you Lord for that!

I enjoyed learning about the church in Ephesus. They hated what God hated, but did not love what He loved. Wow, something we should examine in our own lives! Our two major commands as believers are number one, to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Love is our priority, we will never shine brighter than we love. The church at Ephesus had forsaken their first love. Jesus needs to be our first priority, when we fill ourselves up with Him, He is the one that will help us to love others. I often let the busyness of life sweep me away from my first love. What a good reminder to put God first, do not forsake your first love! Week three was great. I am excited to see what next week bring. I am praying for a fresh revelation from Jesus!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Do You Love God More Than You Love Yourself?

The quest to live a holy life does not seem difficult to understand. We are to love God, follow his commands, and love others. So, why is it so difficult? Well, it is so hard because we must die to self. We must put ourselves last and take all focus off what we want.

So hard to do, my friends. As we wrapped up our studying on, "Living Like You Belong To God," the thing that struck me the most last night was the phrase, "Do you love God more than you love yourself." Just take a minute and really think about that statement. Sure, if we were to answer that right now we would say, "Of course." Examine your actions, do they match up...are you spending more time focused on God than yourself. I would have to say I fail in this area. Maybe you do too. Never fear, let's get up, dust ourselves off and jump out from that mirror of looking at how everything affects me and what I want and desire and get moving in the opposite direction. The direction of loving God more.

Take some time this week to get with God, all by yourself, leave the distractions behind (no cell phone, email, etc). Lay out what a life that is completely focused on God would look like. What areas are you measuring up, what areas are you falling short? Take a good honest look, and don't get discouraged, you are taking a huge step in changing your mindset! Make a simple checklist for yourself of things you would like to do daily. Make it a realistic list (reading my Bible each morning for 15 minutes, praying for my day before I get out of bed, show love to a neighbor in need by the end of this week). You can add to this and increase your time spent with God as the days and weeks go by.

As you look at the check marks as the days and weeks go by, feel encouraged! You are well on your way to living a God centered life!

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 18: Influence

  1. Read the eighteenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 227-235)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • How can you tell when someone is exerting a negative influence? What are some symptoms?
  • What are some common rationalizations that women use to justify keeping the wrong company?
  • Describe a time when someone had a positive influence on you. What was it about him/her that impacted you positively?
  • What is the best way to exert a positive influence on others?
  • What do you need to do to be more wise and less wild when it comes to the influence you accept and exert in your life?

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 17: Speech

  1. Read the seventeenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 217-225)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Download and complete the Conversation Peace Quiz
  4. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What’s the difference between a legitimate compliment and flattery?
  • What’s the problem with talking excessively?
  • How can using words to beguile, control and manipulate a man backfire on a woman?
  • In which main area does your speech need improvement?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 16: Reliability

What happens if you cross your heart with your right hand, and cross your fingers with your left? Do you still have to keep your promise? What if you’re really mad at the person with whom you’ve made the agreement? Can you get out of it then? The Wild Thing of Proverbs 7 thought so. In this Girls Gone Wise video book blog, you’ll learn about covenants. You’ll discover that even if you don’t cross your heart or sign a piece of paper—even if you just shake your head and say “yes”—even if what you said you’d do is just a little thing, your word is your word. A promise is a promise.
  1. Read the sixteenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 207-215)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Describe a time when someone close to you broke a promise they made. How did you feel? How did it affect your thoughts and feelings towards that person?
  • Why is it important that we are faithful in little things?
  • Why is keeping our word particularly important in marriage?
  • How can you be more faithful in the little things?

© Mary A. Kassian



Friday, July 16, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 15: You Deserve a Break Today

The underlying message of most ad campaigns is, “Indulge. You deserve it!” The Wild Thing would agree. She feels entitled to indulge in all sorts of pleasures… visits to the spa, beauty treatments, splurging on the sexy red dress and that pricey, exotic fragrance. And if she decides to indulge in a night of forbidden romance and pleasure, who’s to say she’s shouldn’t? It’s not anybody’s business but her own! In this Girls Gone Wise video book blog, you’ll learn that a woman who willingly forfeits gratification can be infinitely happier than the one who insists on
her right to indulge.

  1. Read the fifteenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 199-206)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What are some things our culture tells us we deserve?
  • How does keeping our eyes on a positive future reward help us forfeit immediate gratification?
  • Explain what you think Paul meant when He said, “She who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.” ( 1 Timothy 5:6)
  • Is there anything that the Lord is asking you to forfeit for the sake of the greater reward?

© Mary A. Kassian



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 14: Shop Till You Drop

Calling all shopaholics… Is the pride-and-joy item in your closet a pair of Manolo Blahniks? Do you like to have a look at the label and see designer names like Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Armani, or Versace? If so, you may have a lot in common with the woman of Proverbs 7. She had impeccable taste! This Girls Gone Wise video book blog points out that Wild Things are intent on filling their homes and closets with designer-label fashion and all sorts of beautiful things—but that if you’re smart, you’ll set your heart on getting so much more!
  1. Read the fourteenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 191-198)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What kind of “power” does luxurious living offer? Do you feel the pull of this attraction?
  • What type of behavior would you expect to see in someone who “treasures the riches of the Kingdom more than the riches of the world?
  • Other than money, what are your most precious resources?
  • What can you do to invest yourself and your resources for eternity?

© Mary A. Kassian

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 13: Neediness

  1. Read the thirteenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 181-189)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Describe some symptoms of CGS (clingy girlfriend syndrome) that you’ve observed in friends or family.
  • What do you think a needy woman is looking to get from a man?
  • Why do some women feel a sense of neediness more acutely than others?
  • Why will no earthly relationship ever completely quench a woman’s thirst?
  • What practical advice would you give to a woman to help her rely less on man and more on the Lord?

© Mary A. Kassian

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 12: Authenticity

How do you spot a fake? Most of us wouldn’t dare deal in counterfeit cash. But yet we tolerate counterfeit spirituality. We are two-faced. Our public persona doesn’t match our private one. You can spot a counterfeit designer handbag by opening it up and examining the details. This Girls Gone Wise video book blog outlines seven signs of hypocrisy that you can spot in the life of a Wild Thing. They’ll help you know what to look for so you can tell the difference between real and fake.Read the twelfth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 171-179)
  1. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  2. Post your comments on the Blog
  • How does the image of a masked actor accurately reflect what a hypocrite is?
  • Why do woman fear being “found out” for who they really are?
  • Which one of the seven marks of hypocrisy do you battle with the most?
  • Why do you think it’s so important to aim for true authenticity?

© Mary A. Kassian

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 11: Boundaries

  1. Read the eleventh point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 153-169)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Download and complete the Personal Hedges Worksheet
  4. Post your comments on the Blog
  • How does failing to heed boundaries expose a woman to potentially dangerous or compromising situations?
  • Do you think we can come up with a hard and fast list of boundaries that are appropriate for all circumstances? Who or why not?
  • Were there any hedges on the Personal Hedges Worksheet that you liked or thought were particularly important? Were there any you disliked or thought were overly restrictive?
  • Has anyone ever pressured you to cross a boundary that you felt uncomfortable crossing? How did you respond?
  • What are some challenges you face when it comes to maintaining personal hedges?

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 10: Sexual Conduct

  1. Read the tenth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 135-151)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Which quote from the book do you think best explains why God created sex?
  • Why do you think that wrongful sexual conduct is so offensive to the Lord?
  • How does an unmarried woman tell the story? How does a married women tell it?
  • Has this chapter caused you to think differently about sex? How do you think it will affect your sexual conduct?

© Mary A. Kassian

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Bible Study

It was so great to meet together Wednesday night, I'm excited that so many of you are taking this journey with me this summer! I hope you liked the first night of our study, "Living Like You Belong To God." I think it will be a great six weeks! True holiness is the key to true happiness, so I'm excited to dive in!

I have set up an email list for prayer requests and other messages that need to go out. If you have not received an email yet, and you are in our class and would like too, please email me at katew806@hotmail.com and I will get you on the list!

Here is a quick look at what we discussed in week one.

This first week of study we focused on "A God Who Separates Light from Darkness." We saw that God separated the light from the darkness in Genesis 1:4, and that spiritually speaking He has been doing that ever since. I challenged us to examine our lives this week and think about the areas that were most light and most dark in our lives.

We saw that what distinguished Israel from all the other nations was that God was going with them (Exodus 33:15-16). So what about you, what distinguishes you from the world around you?

We saw in Leviticus 10:1-5 that Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered up strange fire to the Lord. God was not pleased with their worship and they died. In this context holy means to be set apart from the common and to be treated with great respect. The priests treated God as common and with great disrespect. Do we at times treat our role as a holy person, bought with a price (the price of the blood of Jesus), as common and with disrespect on occasion?

We saw that in 1 Peter 1: 14-16 "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

16because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

The way we handle these truths affects our representation of Jesus in the world! Is your holiness clearly visible to a dark world? I made this cake on Tuesday. It was very pretty, but did not have much flavor (so I won't be recommending this recipe). However, when I made it, it made me think about our lives and holiness. You see before I cut into this cake, it looked like any other cake with buttercream icing. You couldn't tell what was special about this cake. From the outside, there was nothing that would distinguish this cake from any other cake. However, when you cut into it the beautiful colors were displayed for all to see. Are you like this cake? From the outside do you look like everyone else in the world, blending in so no one can tell there is anything different about you? Or are you displaying the beauty of Jesus in you for all the world to see?

Please feel free to continue the discussion we had the other night right here on the blog. Comment below if you have anything you would like to add or discuss!

I cant' wait to see you all back next week as we talk about belonging to a Holy God!

Girls Gone Wise 9: Who Wears the Pants?

Who wears the pants? And does it even matter? Because anything guys can do, girls can do better. Right? Well maybe-maybe not. But according to the Bible, roles aren’t based on who’s more capable or competent, or whose turn it is, or who wants to have a go at it. In this Girls Gone Wise Video book blog, you’ll find out that there’s a really important reason why roles matter, and why it should be the guy pursuing the girl… and not the other way around.Read the ninth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 119-134)
  1. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  2. Post your comments on the Blog
  • How common is the Girls-Gone-Wild pattern of the girl “seizing” and the guy “following”?
  • Why do you think our culture reacts negatively to the idea of differing roles and responsibilities for male and female?
  • Why does it matter who “wears the pants?”
  • Has your thinking on male/female roles changed over the years? In what way?
  • How does sin make it difficult to delight in our created design?
  • Which of the 12 gender markers do you struggle with the most?

© Mary A. Kassian

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 8: Flirt to Convert

No one wants a reputation of being a BIG flirt—but what about just a bit of flirting? What if you just flirt for fun? Or flirt to convert? The ancient prophet Isaiah had something to say about women who’d perfected the art of “the walk” and “the look”—you know the look he’s talking about… that sultry, steamy, “come get me” one. In this Girls Gone Wise video book blog, you’ll find out when you should use body language to turn on the charm.
  1. Read the eighth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 93-108)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 7: Appearance

  1. Read the seventh point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 93-108)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What does it mean to dress “as a prostitute?”
  • How might the concept that clothing is meant to display deep and profound spiritual truths about the gospel change the way a woman dresses?
  • Refer to the second paragraph on page 102. Which pitfalls about the practical question of what and what not to wear have tripped you up?
  • In what way do the principles that a woman’s clothing ought to be “becoming, decent and moderate” challenge you?
© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 6: Focus

  1. Read the sixth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 83-92)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Can you describe a time when you went “wild” lying in wait for something?
  • At what point does the pursuit of a legitimate desire change from being wise to wild?
  • Why is laying a trap so dangerous to the one who lays it?
  • Who gets more: the woman who is focused on getting, or the woman who is focused on giving? Why?
  • What can we do to maintain a Kingdom focus?
© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 5: Habits

  1. Read the fifth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 71-82)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Why is it important to attend to your private world first?
  • Do you agree that God created women with a unique bent for the home? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think culture devalues the importance of a woman’s unique connection to the home?
  • What important habits and disciplines does a wise woman incorporate into her life?
  • What areas of your private life do you have a tendency to neglect? Can you share any ideas or suggestions for habits that have worked for you?

© Mary A. Kassian

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 4: Attitude

This chapter was all about Attitude! Isn't it so true that in society today if you have a sassy and defiant attitude you are considered desirable. Culture says this kind of attitude is a virtue and calls it self confidence. I delight in the fact that the Lord created me to be soft. "According to Scripture, it's woman's softness, her ability to receive, respond, and relate, that is her greatest strength (pg 64)."

So today, take a few minutes and watch the video below by Mary Kassian and then turn in your book and ask yourself, "What kind of attitude am I going to cultivate in my life?" Enjoy!
  1. Read the fourth point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 57-70)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What type of disposition does culture encourage women to cultivate?
  • How do you feel about the fact that Adam associated manhood with “strength” and womanhood with “softness”? What do you think that means?
  • Do you delight in the fact that the Lord created you to be “soft”? Why or why not.
  • What factors might keep you from becoming increasingly gentle, calm, and amenable?
© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 3: Approach

Here is the video blog to Chapter 3: Approach
  1. Read the third point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 45-55)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog
  • What are some specific ways pop culture encourages women to manipulate men?
  • Which type of manipulation have you used the most? The least?
  • Can you describe an instance when being wily has blown up in your face?
  • How can we become less wily and and more wise in our relationships?

© Mary A. Kassian Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog 2: Counsel

Chapter 2
You can find the video book blog at www.girlsgonewise.com or you can watch it at the end of this post!
  1. Read the second point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 35-44)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Take the Media Reduction Challenge
  4. Post your comments on the Blog
  • Do you agree or disagree that “you’ll become what you expose yourself to”?
  • Do you think you’ve been influenced by things you’ve seen? How?
  • What adjustments have you made (do you want to make) to your media intake?
My responses to the questions above. Comment if you have anything you would like to add!

1. I agree that you'll become what you expose yourself to. You might not think it could ever happen, but it is easy to become desensitized to what you put yourself around (see, hear, and think about). Just like Mary Kassian said, it is a slow, steady drip, drip, drip, and then by the time you have been exposed to something 30 times you have it imbedded in your mind and thoughts.

2. Yes, I think I have been influenced by the things I have seen. I will never forget watching a movie with a group of friends in high school one Friday night. It was a violent movie, one that I didn't want to watch. There was a very violent scene where someone was killed, and to this day it still send shivers up my spine when something makes me remember it. I hate that it is stuck in my head. I think things we watch influence us; our moods, what we want to buy, eat, etc.

3. I have already made some adjustments in the last week by limiting my "media" intake. I cut down the amount of time I spent watching television. I thought that this would be something that would be incredibly hard for me, but surprisingly it wasn't been hard at all. I have found other things to do and occupy my time. Now, when I have actually been sitting down to watch TV I haven't even been finding it as enjoyable. I keep thinking of all the other things I would like to be doing.
The next step for me is to cut back on my internet time. I spend too much time on the internet.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Are You Swept Off Your Feet?

Chapter One was all about the heart-foot connection. I encourage all of you to watch the video below even if you aren't reading along with us. You can gain little nuggets of truth even in this seven minute video. I have shared my thought below on these questions. Please share your answers and insight by commenting below.
  1. Read the first point of contrast between a Wild and a Wise Thing (Pages 23-33)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog.
  • Explain why the Sage told his son to take careful note of a girl’s feet.
  • How would the behavior of a woman who is “swept off her feet” by Jesus differ from one who is swept of her feet by other things?
  • What things in your life compete for the center spot in your affections?
  • How can you keep Christ at the center?

1. Explain why the Sage told his son to take careful note of a girl's feet.
The Sage Father tells his son that he will be able to tell a lot about a women by her walk (so true). Why? "Her walk demonstrates where her loyalty lies. It reveals whether her heart is inclined toward the Lord or toward other things--whether she's moving toward Him or away from Him, whether she prefers the path of uprightness or the path of wickedness, God's way or the world's way--whether she favors being wise or wild"(page 24-25). The small steps she takes daily add up to reveal what is important to her or where heart is in relationship to God.

2. How would the behavior of a woman who is “swept off her feet” by Jesus differ from one who is swept of her feet by other things?
If a woman is swept off her feet her attitude and speech and conduct are pleasing to God. She follows the Lord, and relies on Him. One who is swept of her feet by other things will do the things which are pleasing in her own eyes. "She will follow her own desires, turn aside from the straight and narrow, go after things she has no right to, and mess around with sin" (pg 25).

3. What things in your life compete for the center spot in your affections?
I think that a lot of times it is the "busyness" of life. I find myself getting up and wanting to get this or that done before I get into my quiet time with God. That is not the way it should be. I need to put all things aside until I have had my time alone with God. He should be my number one priority, not throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine. It can also be "me time," or what I want to do. If I find a free few minutes I will turn on my sewing machine or want to scrapbook; before I have had my time with God. Page 33 tells us that an important characteristic of a girl gone wise is that "Jesus Christ occupies first place in her heart. He is the object of her greatest affection." A good question to ask yourself is, "Are you swept off your feet in love with Jesus?" If the answer is no...you need to do some reprioritizing.

4. How can you keep Christ at the center?
By focusing on Him. Stop living the world's way and live God's way. "The more a woman's heart is seized with affection for Jesus, the more her life will be transformed to walk His way" (pg. 32).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Girls Gone Wise Book Blog Intro: Wild Thing

Here is the first book blog from Mary Kassian on Girls Gone Wise (you can view her comments about this introduction at the bottom of this post by clicking on the play button). She will be posting twice a week. This post is on the introduction chapter Wild Thing. The instructions are below. I have posted my responses to the first set of questions below.

Now it’s your turn:

  1. Read the Introduction of Girls Gone Wise, entitled “Wild Thing” (Pages 1-20)
  2. Download and complete the Chapter Questions for Personal Reflection
  3. Post your comments on the Blog.
  • What’s your definition of a Girl Gone Wild?
  • Do you think that women nowadays are wilder than they used to be?
  • Do you see any evidence of “wildness” in your own life?
  • What is required of us in order to withstand the pull to be wild?
Here is what I have to say about these questions. Feel free to post your responses to these questions. There is also discussion on Mary Kassian's blog site here.
1. My definition of a Girl Gone Wild is anyone who is relying on her own way (doing things on her own), rather than God's way and relying on God. I think every woman can fall into this category at some point (at different times of the day). It is important for me to remember not to rely on my own strength or on what I think I should do in a particular situation. I need to turn to God and ask Him to help me and turn to His Word to guide me. A Girl Gone Wild does not rely on God's Word to guide her conduct. To me this is the key of a girl gone wild and it can be found on page 17, "Wild is what we are whenever we disregard God and rely instead on the world's advice, or on what seems right in our own eyes."

2. Do you think that women nowadays are wilder than they used to be? My answer would be yes and no! I think woman have been wild since the beginning. We can see this as evidenced with Eve. She went against God and ate of the fruit. I think that being "wild" is more acceptable in our society today than it used to be. It is actually even viewed as attractive.

3. Do you see any evidence of "wildness" in your own life? I touched on this in the first question. There are times I try to do things my way without going to God and seeing how He would have me do them. This is wild too, not just the obvious women we see out there who are wild. I think it is important to recognize this as wild so we don't fall prey to thinking there is not "wildness" in our own lives. We must look to God and His word for guidance

4. What is required of us in order to withstand the pull to be wild? To know what it is to be wild is the first thing in helping to withstand the pull. When you know the characteristics and can then begin to see them when they start in your own life it will be easier to combat them. We must be in the Word to show us how we should live, and be in close commune with God.


Friday, May 14, 2010

The "GPS" of our Soul

Girlfriends, journey back with me to five years ago when I was a newly married twenty-four year old woman. Chris and I were traveling around the country with Kidz Blitz Live, an interactive shared family experience for children and their families. This particular week we had arrived in Houston, Texas at a church called Champion Forest Baptist Church. Back in Kansas City, I was participating in my first Beth Moore Bible study, which was the Patriarchs study, and I was learning so much and enjoying her style of teaching. I remembered hearing Beth Moore say, in one of the videos in that series, that she had a Sunday night Bible study at her church in Houston. I looked it up online and realized I would be there when the Bible study went on. I was so excited. I wanted to try to go. Unfortunately, it was during the event that we had at Champion Forest. Chris encouraged me to go even though he could not drive me there.

What?...me drive by myself on the freeways of Houston and not get lost? I am someone that can get easily flustered on roads that I am not used to driving on. I like to drive on familiar roads where I know exactly where I am going. If you know Houston at all, they are not only known for crazy traffic, but also for their crazy highways. They are everywhere! They crisscross, intersect and go this way and that. They are built on top of each other and soar so high in the sky that you often feel like you are on a roller coaster.Here is a picture for all of you who have not had the pleasure of driving on these amazingly engineered freeways; and yes, you do drive on the very top road that is way up high in the sky (see what I mean about roller coasters:)

Chris said he thought I could maneuver the roads just fine. He said we would set the GPS (global positioning system) and away I would go! Well, the nice lady's voice sweetly guided me on my way. I had my hands gripping the steering wheel so tight. I was soon switching from one freeway to another like I was a seasoned pro and began to feel more at ease. Then the nice GPS lady's voice came on and told me to get on a certain freeway and I look up and make sure I am in the right lane and I see a big orange sign slapped across the sign of the lane I am to be in that said CLOSED. I immediately panic. What do I do. My palms were sweaty and I had 7 different lanes to pick from. I immediately had this gripping fear that I would become lost on the Houston freeways never to be seen again!

I quickly decided to stay in the lane I was in and the nice GPS lady started trying to recalculate my route. Luckily, within a few seconds she found me a new route to take and I was able to safely make it to my destination. As I pulled into the parking lot of the church a huge wave of relief swept over me! I had made it! I ran into the church with seconds to spare and found an open seat in the class room eagerly waiting to see Beth Moore emerge to teach us from the Word of God. I waited, and kept looking at my watch..five minutes went by...then ten. Finally, a nice woman came out and took the microphone. She said, "Hi, my name is Karen. In a few minutes we will be starting class. Beth Moore is not able to be here tonight so I will be leading our study this evening." What? Oh, no...I came all this way and braved the Houston freeways and do not get to sit under the teaching of Beth Moore. Then, I suddenly remembered....I had to get back in the car and do this all over again!

Girlfriends, just like I had a GPS guiding me through the freeways of Houston, we also have a "GPS" or Shepherd, His name is Jesus! ("For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." 1 Peter 2:25). If you have given Your life to Him and asked Him to be your Savior, He knows you, and hears your voice ("I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14, 15). He is willing and waiting to guide us through the highways and byways of life. He is just waiting for us to ask Him for help or guidance. With the good Shepherd guiding you, you may not know where you are going or where He is leading you, but that is okay. He is our path. He does not leave us or forsake us. And He has promised to stay until the very end. Matthew 28:20 says, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild Video Blog Starts This Tuesday


The Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild Video Blog begins next Tuesday, May 18th. Don't miss out. Get your copy of the book today so you can join us on this journey as we go chapter by chapter through the book with the author Mary Kassian. I have never participated in a video blog book club before. I am excited to see what this is all about.

I have already started reading and this book is very good. I have especially loved chapters 2 and 3 and can't wait to discuss them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Does God Require of Us?

Micah 6:8
"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."

I know many people ponder the question "What does God really expect from me?" I heard a great sermon by the senior pastor of my church that really helped answer this question. People usually fall into one of two categories. The first being that God doesn't expect much of us. The second being that God requests more than we can give (never really understand grace). Neither one of these is true. To help everyone better understand what God does require of us here are three main characteristics. Use these to check yourself and see if you are living up to what is required of you.

First, we must have a Reverent Attitude. We must walk humbly with God. I looked up the word reverent in the dictionary and it says, "feeling, exhibiting, or characterized by reverence; deeply respectful." I think the key here is it is not only an outward action and how you act when others are looking. Are you reverent to God when no one is looking as well? Pastor Steve posed the question, "How's your attitude?" He said that 95% of reverence is attitude and the other 5% is action. You will be ineffective for Christ if you have a bad attitude.

Secondly, do we love the things that God loves? Are those things what are important to you? Do you impart mercy, and it should be ongoing (not just every once in awhile) just like our Lord does.

Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy."

Lastly, we must do what is right (to do justly). Do you have a righteous walk and a lifestyle of truth? If you sow the seeds of dishonesty that is what you will reap. A small example would be if you were given more change back than you should have received at the bank...what would you do? Would you be honest and return it, or would you think it was your lucky day and keep it? This very thing has happened to me in stores before and when I return the money they are always surprised. Amazing...this is what we should do, yet, all too often people sow their dishonest seeds.

If you are consistently doing these three things then you are doing what God requires of you! Girlfriends, I pray that you have a reverent attitude, love the things that God loves, and do what is right. If you feel you are having trouble in any of these areas, simply pray and ask God for help and guidance in doing these things. He loves you deeply and wants only the best for you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


As I sit back and reflect on the three years and 23 days (every day counts, right!) that I have been a mother I am first of all how amazed at how quickly it goes by. This was again reiterated to me the last few days as Chris, Max, Cooper and I spent time in Tishomingo, OK. We drove down to attend the celebration service of Chris' cousin Ryan's life. Ryan was only 33 years old when he passed away unexpectedly after marrying the love of his life in March (only a little over a month ago). The common theme that I heard was that those who knew and loved him best wished they would have been more intentional in being with Ryan.

This Mother's Day I think the greatest gift I could give myself would be to take this advice to heart, to be more intentional in the time I spend with my boys. I feel guilty as I think of all the times Max wants me to play with him and I will quickly rush through my time with him so I can get on to the next thing I need to do. This Mother's Day I am vowing to spend more time just "being" with my boys; focusing on them, playing with them, and loving on them. I challenge you to take more time and be intentional in the time you spend with your kids. For we do not know the Lord's plans nor how many days we have on this earth.

Happy Mother's Day...cherish every moment you have with your loved ones!

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Attitude of Your Heart Towards Your Trouble

James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

I love this verse. It is one that often brings comfort to those facing difficult circumstances in life. I wanted to take a closer look to see if I could gain more insight into this scripture. Thanks to the help of my study Bible, my husband, and commentaries here is what I found.

Count it all joy
. The greek word for count may also be translated "consider" or "evaluate." What is your natural human response to trials? Not to rejoice, right? It is easier to have a doom and gloom attitude towards them. That is why we must remind ourselves to face each one with joy. It is not something that will always come naturally, me must be conscious about it!

The Greek word for trial connotes trouble or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy and happiness in someone's life. The verb form of this means to put someone or something to the test with the purpose of discovering that person's nature or that thing's quality. God brings such tests to prove--and increase--the strength and quality of one's faith and to demonstrate its validity. For example, if an athlete never works his or her muscles they will not grow stronger and not improve in their sport. Every trial becomes a test of faith designed to strengthen: if the believer fails the test by wrongly responding, that test then becomes a temptation, or a solicitation to evil.

This is a very interesting fact that I did not know until my husband shared it with me. The word trial and temptation are the same word in the greek. It can either be from God who is proving our faith, or from Satan who is trying to destroy our faith. Another good reason to press on with faith, my dear sister!

Testing means "proof" or "proving." Patience...better translated "endurance" or "perseverance." Through a test, a Christian will learn to withstand tenaciously the pressure of a trial until God removes it at His appointed time and even cherish the benefit. (It's important to note that God does not give us trouble for troubles sake, there is a purpose in mind).

Perfect. Not a reference to sinless perfection, but to spiritual maturity. The testing of faith drives believers to deeper communion and greater trust in Christ--qualities that in turn produce a stable, godly, and righteous character.

My girlfriends, life is constantly throwing trials at us. We do not need to know the source of the trial, but we do need to know the source of our strength through the trial. When the waves of life are buffeting you, look to God and He will get you through. Once on the other side you will be more spiritually mature, and have more of the abundant life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mission Organization: Part 2 Managing Your Mail

If you are like me you love to get mail! An exciting part of my day is walking to the mailbox and seeing what is inside, especially if I am expecting something! However, it can quickly pile up and become a daunting task deciding what to do with it all. I am excited to have found The 15 Minute Organizer, a book by Emilie Barnes, that a great friend let me borrow. I was overjoyed to find a chapter on "How to Manage Your Mail." I am hoping that the advice I found in this chapter will help me change my "mail messy" ways for good!

Barnes gives us three easy steps in organizing our mail.
1.) Designate an area where you open and process your mail.
2.) Don't let it pile up. Make sure you go through your mail daily and determine what is important and what can be thrown away.
3.) Make decisions--don't put it down, put it away, and don't be a mail scooter. I fit into this category. I have a pile of mail that usually ends up on my kitchen island and then when I clean I end up moving the pile or "scooting" it up to my study/office.

Barnes advises to make categories:
  • Throwaway mail-junk mail, advertisements, etc.
  • Mail you need to read, but don't have time for now
  • Mail you need to file away, such as bills, insurance papers, and receipts.
  • Mail you need to ask someone about--husband, children, etc.
  • Mail that needs a phone call.
  • Mail to be answered. Personal letters, forms to be filled out and returned, RSVP's for invitations.
All of these categories can be labeled on a file folder and put into a file box or cabinet. I have decided to put mine in folders but keep them in a desktop organizer so they are easily accessible. With file folders we still need to be aware of piles ups as now they will be out of sight, just don't put them out of mind.

I like some of the tips that Barnes gives.
  • Toss the junk mail. It is a time waster, just toss it. Don't fall into the trap of "I might use this or need this someday," because you very likely will not.
  • I love this idea! When you don't have time to read publications, place them in a file folder and take them with you in the car. When you have time to read them (waiting at the doctor's office, for children, or even in a long line) you can have time to catch up on your mail reading.
  • Make address changes immediately upon receipt! I often will say I will make the change later and then when I need the new address the paper is missing. If you do it immediately this will not occur.
  • An RSVP should be answered as soon as you know your plans. This is a common courtesy to the host or hostess.
  • Mark dates on your calendar as soon as they arrive. Also write down birthdays, appointments, and other significant reminders immediately. With our busy lives it is best to not rely on our memories!
Taken from The 15 Minute Organizer by Emilie Barnes. Pages 206-207.

Now onto what I did. I searched online and found some great ideas for organizing mail. Some varied in price. One of my favorite ideas I found at the Container Store. It is a stainless steal magnetic wall pocket. You could then put the file folders in here and hang it on a wall or refrigerator. It costs $21.99 at the container store. However, when I was at Target today (I love that store), I found a desk organizer for $4.99 and pretty file folders (to make it fun) for $3.99 (for 12 folders). So for a total of $9.00 I am set! Here is my set up! I love sliding the mail into its corresponding spot, especially since the folders are so fun! I have never had any kind of folder other than the plain manilla folders. I just might be able to keep this system running!

I would love to hear your tips and tricks on organizing mail. Leave me a comment!
Happy Organizing!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A God Walk

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

Max, Cooper and I loaded up the stroller and took a walk. The sole purpose of this walk was to take in the beauty and splendor of our Lord Jesus Christ. I called it a God Walk. I told Max to point out everything to me that God made. It was a great teaching time as well as a great time of reminding us of all the God has made and all that He does for us. I took the camera and told him we would take pictures of everything that God made and then we would make a book out of it. It was so sweet to hear him telling me, "Mommy, God made the grass...trees...
clouds...

flowers......water, and birds (we couldn't get a close up picture of a bird)!...
sun...
...and Cooper and me!
For me it was a great time to focus on God and His creation and to not focus on myself and what I needed to get done that day. So take a moment, get outside, and be thankful for everything God has made!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Are you singing the song in your head....or out loud yet? I can hear it! Well, it is the number one thing that you can give your man. I have been reading the book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. This book looks at what you need to know about the inner lives of men. I'm sure you are all going to be racing out to get this one after hearing the subtitle. I believe Chapter 2 is a huge thing for all of us as women to understand. The chapter is titled "Your Love Is Not Enough." Respect means more to our husbands that even our love. They definitely want our love, but without our respect, the love doesn't mean anything to him.

Feldhahn surveyed many men and asked them "If you had to choose, would you rather feel alone and unloved in the world OR would you rather feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone?" Men hands done said they would rather feel unloved and alone. Women asked this same question said they would rather feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone. While women need love....men need respect, especially from his woman, his partner in life. Actually the men surveyed felt that the two choices were not even different. "What that translates to is this: If you want to love your man in the way he needs to be loved, then you need to ensure that he feels your respect most of all." To do that here are a few interesting tidbits that might help us.

-Anger is often a man's response to feeling disrespected.

-Just as our men can choose to demonstrate love toward us even if they don't feel it at the moment, we can and should choose to demonstrate respect.


Need #1 Respect his judgement. Our men deeply need us to respect their knowledge, opinions, and decisions. This means don't question their knowledge or the argue with their decisions all the time. Feldhahn said, "Several men confessed that they felt like their opinions and decisions were actively valued in every area of their lives except at home. Some men felt their comrades at work trusted their judgment more than their own wives did." This is very sad to me. I don't want my husband to feel this way. I was to make sure that I respect his judgment.

Need #2 Respect his abilities- Men have the strong need to be able to figure things out for themselves. I can relate here, because I am someone who likes to try to figure things out too. I know how I feel if someone starts to questions whether I can do something or if I know how. It makes me feel really small. This is what it does to our men too. Even if you get lost and your man is at the wheel...let him figure it out. Don't insist that he pull over and ask someone for directions.

Need #3 Respect in communication. "Women hold an incredible power in the way we communicate with our men (both husbands and sons) to build them up or to tear them down, to encourage or to exasperate."

-Some things just push a man's buttons. This goes beyond what we say--and into how we say it.

A large number of men also read something negative into the simple female reminder. More than one-third of these men took that reminder as nagging or as an accusation of laziness or mistrust. Remember the verse Proverbs 21:9 that says, "Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife."

Need #4 Respect in public. Ladies this means building him up in front of others not tearing him down or teasing him. Be respectful even when he is absent. Showing public respect goes a long way.

Need #5 Respect in our assumptions. This means always assuming the best of him and not the worst. For some reason, it is easy for us as woman to jump to conclusions and assume things.

The bottom line "a man's heart is powerfully touched by a few simple words: 'I'm so proud of you.'" Remember this and tell him often. Affirm your man, he needs that affirmation from you more than anyone else. He is the man you choose to do life with. Love on him. Respect him. I love what Feldhahn says on page 50, "If a man's wife believes in him, he can conquer the world--or at least his little corner of it."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild-Come Read With Me!

"Be careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise." Ephesians 5:15

Hey Girls! I am going to be reading the book Girls Gone Wise in World Gone Wild! I am hoping that you all will join me. The book is by Mary Kassian and she is going to be doing a video blog twice a week to go along with the book. It sounds like a lot of fun. Here is a little note from her below.I’m inviting you to study the “Girls Gone Wise” book online with me on the Girls Gone Wise Video Book Blog. The Video Book Blog will start on May 18, 2010, right here on GirlsGoneWise.com, and also on TrueWoman.com. We’ll study the book chapter by chapter. Twice a week, I’ll post a new video blog. You can watch the video blog, read the corresponding chapter, answer some questions for personal reflection, and discuss the chapter online with others. It’s a great way to learn. Plan to join in–it’ll be a lot of fun!

I just ordered my book off of Amazon.com and it was only $10.19. I hope you will all want to join me! I will also be posting on this blog my responses to the book, and would love to have you all do so as well and have an ongoing dialogue/discussion about the book. Let me know if you are thinking about joining me! Go to the website Girls Gone Wise if you would like to check it out!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mission Organization: Part 1 Hall Closet Catch-All

Do you have a spot that is the catch all place? You know, a go to spot for clutter? The place where when you don't know where something should go, you go put it there. Well, this place for me is the coat closet. I wanted to do a little organizing. It was about time (as you can see from the picture). It was confirmed to me after we had our dinners for six group over to our house for dinner. Chris opened the closet to hang up their coats and there was no where to hang them. Yikes! So, I'm about to let you take a peek at what it looked like before. Oh, this is hard for me. Here goes....Okay, I did it. Look at that floor. It was in need of a makeover, bad. So, I decided to do something about it. For only $7.47 (for this hanging organizer) I organized the entire closet..... ....and it looks like this now! Tah dah! What do you think?First I started off by taking everything out of the closet and making piles. Three piles to be exact: throw away, keep, and give away. Then everything that needed to go back in I started to organize. This hanging organizer is a great way to organize all of the hats, gloves, and scarfs. Each family member has a shelf (I have two...what can I say I'm the only girl in the family;) I can't take the credit for this awesome idea I saw it in the January issue of Parents Magazine! Here's some close ups.




This is another great idea...which is not my own either. I place all of my gift bags (for all occasions) in this plastic tub. Whenever I have a gift that needs wrapped I go to the closet and get in the tub. Think of all the money you will save not buying gift bags for every gift. Recycle!I am so glad my closet is now organized. The other day I walked over to it to hang up a jacket and almost jumped a foot backward as I was in complete shock at how organized it was. It made me smile!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whispers of Encouragement

"I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of His power." Ephesians 3:7

Be Available for God's Work

You simply have to be yourself--at any age--as God made you,
available to Him so that He can work in and through you to bring about
His kingdom and His glory.

Luci Swindoll
(From the book Whispers of Encouragement--Daily Encouragement for Women)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Strawberries! Kids in the Kitchen

Max and I made a fun treat on Friday afternoon that I thought I would share with you. It is a great recipe to get the kids involved in the kitchen. It was fast, easy, and cleanup was quick! Here is everything you need.Strawberries
Strawberry Marshmallows
Baker's Dipping Chocolate
Skewers
Sprinkles
Wax Paper

First you need to follow the directions on the back of the Baker's Dipping Chocolate. When it is melted you are ready to go!
2. Put a strawberry marshmallow on a skewer and dip in the chocolate
3. Sprinkle the chocolate marshmallow and then lay it on the waxed paper. When you complete the chocolate process on the desired amount of marshmallows place the waxed paper full of chocolate marshmallows in the refrigerator to harden (approximately 10-15 minutes). 4. When ready wash the strawberries and place a fresh strawberry on the skewer with the marshmallow. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hard Truths That Hit Close To Home

A word from our guest blogger Amy Vance.

Have you ever been hit with a really hard truth from God? I'm sure we all have. I'm in the process of learning a difficult lesson about something that hits very close to home. In my home if you want to be technical about it. Let me start at the beginning...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my family! I have a wonderful husband that I'm very much in love with. I have a beautiful little girl that I absolutely adore. I think about them all the time: 1st thing in the morning, all day long and as I'm falling asleep at night. I want to make sure they have everything they need to make life as good and easy for them as possible. I want our home to be a place they enjoy being-safe, clean, and comfortable. I want them to eat well and have the best food they can get (within my abilities, of course) and for them to be healthy and happy. I think about all the best ways to teach my daughter to be kind, loving, respectful and to one day follow after Jesus. I think about how to make time for my husband, to be attentive to him and let him know that in the midst of everything he is loved. After all, I'm a mom. That's our job. We think about these things (and so many others)-ALL THE TIME, ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. And when we aren't thinking about keeping them happy, healthy, well-fed, safe and loved we're worrying about what else we could have done better or differently. And when that's done we start thinking about what they'll need for tomorrow! Am I speaking to anyone, here?

This is where the difficult lesson comes in...I'll do my best to explain. I read a passage of scripture out of Matthew that really stepped on my toes. Matthew 10:37 says, "The person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Ouch! Then I came across Luke 14:26 which says, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, and even his own life-he cannot be My disciple." What did He say? Hate my family?!? Why would he say that? Aren't we supposed to love others? And wouldn't that especially apply to our very own families?

Here's the deal. The amount of love we have for our families should look like hate compared to the love we have for Christ. He wants all of us. He wants us to make Him our very top priority. And the fact of the matter is, the Bible says that God is Love. And that's not love as a verb, but love as a noun. He IS love. Without Him there is no love at all. But that's not where the lesson has ended for me. I started thinking about how I had put my family in the position that God should have been in my life: #1. And you know what the cold, hard fact about that is? I've made my own family into an idol that I had begun to worship. No, I haven't built an alter to my husband or my daughter in my basement or anything. But they had consumed more of my thought life, my time and my affections than God had.

Now, remember what I said before about God being love? The crazy thing about all of this is that by putting my family first I've actually robbed them of the most spectacular love I could ever give them. You see, when I put God first in my life, He fills me and He gives me a capacity to love far more than I could ever do on my own. What a weird cycle: by esteeming my family and not the Father, I've actually taken away from the love I could be giving them.

So my mission, that I'm choosing to accept, is to love my family the way God intended me to love them. I'm trying to put them in their proper place in my heart and that is right after my Savior!
Amy resides in a suburb of Kansas City. She is a Bible study teacher, wife of a pastor, and mother of one sweet little girl!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

He's Alive!

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness...Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD." Psalm 150:1-2, 6 NIV

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter. I did. It was a great day for me. Sunday service was probably the first time since Cooper was born that I was able to worship and enjoy the service without any distractions! I left service that morning feeling uplifted and encouraged.

I thought we would discuss what Easter means to us. This year Chris and I really tried to communicate the true meaning of Easter to Max. I'm not saying the "bunny," eggs and candy are bad. I just wanted to make sure that these were not the first thing Max would think of when he heard the word Easter.

To me Easter is a time to remember what Jesus did for us. Through Jesus we see the ultimate sacrifice of His life for each one of our lives. He paid the price so we would not have to. He did this so we can live forever with Him. All we have to do is simply believe that He is our Lord and Savior, and live for Him.

Easter is also a time to celebrate the miracle! He is Alive, ("Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him." Mark 16:5-7). I love that it is no coincidence that Easter happens at the start of spring when new life is witnessed in everything we see. The old is gone (winter), and the new has come (spring). Just like when we give our lives to Jesus we are a new creation. The old is gone!

Lastly, it is a time to ask myself if I'm doing my part? Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. What is my job to help His message fulfilled? To tell others! A sweet friend who has been in ministry for many years recently told us (at a gathering) that in one of her first years of ministry a little boy came to her and motioned for her to bend down. He whispered in her ear on Easter morning, "He's Alive! Tell someone!" It gave me chills. Something so simple, but that is our mission here on this earth!

So, as you walk along the way remember this..."HE'S ALIVE, TELL SOMEONE." Please share any other thoughts you would like to share about Easter and what it means to you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Mothering Moment-Letting Go

Yesterday my Sunday School Class on Parenting finished up. James Dobson's was talking about Erma Bombeck and how she described parenting and when the time comes when we have to let go. It was quite timely for me yesterday as I dropped off my second born in the nursery for the first time. I know my parenting journey is far from what is described here, but it still brought tears to my eyes as I can see how quickly that time will approach and how I must enjoy the "ride." Here is the excerpt from Dr. Dobson's discussion.

Humorist Erma Bombeck described this difficult process in terms that were helpful to me. She said that the task of raising kids is rather like trying to fly a kite on a day when the wind doesn't blow. Mom and Dad run down the road pulling the cute little device at the end of a string. It bounces along the ground and shows no inclination of getting off the ground.

Eventually, and with much effort, they manage to lift it 15 feet in the air, but great danger suddenly looms. The kite dives toward electrical lines and twirls near trees. It is a scary moment. Will they ever get it safely on its way? Then, unexpectedly, a gust of wind catches the kite, and it sails upward. Mom and Dad feed out line as rapidly as they can.

The kite begins pulling the string, making it difficult to hold on. Inevitably, they reach the end of their line. What should they do now? The kite is demanding more freedom. It wants to go higher. Dad stands on his tiptoes and raises his hand to accommodate the tug. It is now grasped tenuously between his index finger and thumb, held upward toward the sky. Then the moment of release comes. The string slips through his fingers, and the kite soars majestically into God's beautiful sky.

Mom and Dad stand gazing at their precious "baby," who is now gleaming in the sun, a mere pinpoint of color on the horizon. They are proud of what they've done -- but sad to realize that their job is finished. It was a labor of love. But where did the years go?

That is where you are today -- standing on tiptoes and stretching toward the sky with the end of the string clutched between your fingers. It's time to let go. And when you do, you'll find that a new relationship will be born. Your parenting job is almost over. In its place will come a friendship that will have its own rewards.

Remember: The kite is going to break free one way or the other. It's best that you release it when the time is right!

I will leave you with a picture of my little guy who turned 3 months old yesterday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hand Chosen by God!

Thank you all for your comments! I have really enjoyed reading them, please keep them up! I have included some questions and would love to hear your answers.

A little pick me up for you today, or at least it was for me!

Ephesians 1:3-4 "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes."

The part that is really special to me is "even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ." He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing! We are hand picked by God! How does that make you feel? Even when we feel rejected by the world we must remember that God chose each one of us. How do the feelings of being rejected compare to the feelings of knowing God chose me? Do you feel justified, chosen, and forgiven? How would you live differently if you believed you were all of these things?

Thank you Lord for choosing me even before the world was! Lord help me to be more like you everyday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Holiness

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

I have been really convicted lately in the area of holiness in my life. I want to live a holy life that is pleasing to the Lord. Lately, when I watch TV I have been amazed at the filth that is broadcasted to homes all over the world. I have been really aware of it, and embarrassed of the trash that I have been letting come into my home. Many of these shows are really pushing the envelope and things and words that used to not be allowed anywhere near 7:00 pm are out there for all ears and eyes to see. I think it would be interesting to see statistics on how fast this has happened with the rules and guidelines. I think back to the shows I watched as a kid on Friday night (good ole TGIF) and they were clean shows, that now would probably be laughed right off the air.

I want to be holy and my life to reflect the holiness of God. I love this song, it has been around for awhile but a good one to remember.

Holiness, holiness is what I long for.
Holiness is what I need.
Holiness, holiness is what You
want from me.

Holiness, holiness is what I long for.
Holiness is what I need.
Holiness, holiness is what You
want from me.

So, take my heart and form it.
Take my mind and transform it.
Take my will and conform it.
To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord.

Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I
long for.
Faithfulness is what I need.
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what.
You want from me.

Brokenness, brokenness is what I
long for.
Brokenness is what I need.
Brokenness, brokenness is what
You want from me.