Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's more important?

This is a question I find myself often asking. Let me give you some examples.

I find tardiness extremely rude. Weather to an event, to school, to work, to church, I find it disrespectful. I often ask "What was more important than getting there on time?" Sometimes, ceratin situation can't be helped and that is understandable.
I feel like if someone has put enough time and energy into preparing something or expecting you to be there, then that should be what is important.

Spending time with your spouse. Now this one I love. ;o) What's more important than couch time? Or talking? Or taking a few minutes out of your day to give a hug? I get bogged down so many times with things that I forget to give the other half the time and affection that is needed. And vice versa.

But last night....

The question was turned onto me! And it was an eye opener.

Lukus' football team made the playoffs. They have worked very hard all season to get to this point and I wouldn't miss it for the world. My 1 selfish night of the week is Thursday nights when I can go and worship with our praise team. And I don't have to be there every week, but it is somewhere I want to be every week. Except this one.
So Lukus gets in the car last night and says:
"Mom, are you coming to the game Thursday night?"
I said "Yes...why would you ask that?"
He said "Well, I know it's your praise team night, and you really enjoy it, but I need to know what is more important to you?"

OUCH and WOW all at once! The concepts I have been teaching my kids are sinking in...and even so much that they are using them on me. Way to go Lukus! And he is right. What he didn't know is that I was planning all along to go. Sure, there is part of me that will miss Thursday night with my small group and the time we share....but I don't ever want to have a missed opportunity in life with my kids because I was too selfish and made myself more important than them.

I hope everyone takes a moment today and figures out what is more important to them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow!

My blogs lately....ARE LOOOOOONG!!!!! ;o)

How do we overcome.....

Jealousy!

Before we married (and even after) Chad always said he is glad that I am not a jealous woman. Now, he is speaking in the "relationship" sense of things. I'm not one of those that is jealous for my husband having friends of the opposite sex. This is most commonly how jealously is viewed...between couples. This is not what I'm talking about.

Here is a story:
Once upon a time I was part of an organization that was focused on team building. We built teams that were able to work together on a number of great things. Each team picked a leader for their team and then everyone selected one person to be the overall leader of all the teams. Of course you could tell, this was based on popularity and who was better skilled in certain areas. It worked well for a while. A long while! And then you notice that that scary word "jealousy" takes over the group(s). Now what you see happening is each person trying to compete for each others spot, beg for the main leaders attention so they could move into a "spotlight" role, and everyone wants some type of affirmation and now the group is getting nowhere. What do you do? Have we failed? YES!

I failed as a leader to 'continue' to strive effective communication within the group, building each other up and striving to keep a level sense about it. I too, like them became a jealous person. Even as the leader!

The things I got jealous of were time, money, success of others, fairness, popularity, goal achieveing, personal abilities, etc.

I don't struggle with it as much today as I did 10 years ago, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't struggle with it at all. So I've been studying on how to try and overcome this and I am finding that it is more difficult than I realized. Why? Because this is one of the places that Satan knows he can attack me.

Look at what jealousy creates:
Bitterness, confusion, chaos, worthlessness, negative emotions, insecurity, anger, hatred, destroys communication, creates gossip, slander, persecutions, and puts distance between you and God.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.


Think of jealousy as a toxin in your body. (you know...I'm medical) Wouldn't you want to get the toxins out of your body before they lead to some physical path of destruction? Of course you would! So then why not do the same with the things that haunt your emotions?

What creates Jealousy?
Insecurity and the lack of self worth is a safe guess for me. If you are so worried about fitting in and being accepted, the overwhelming sense of jealousy will take over and cause so many problems within yourself. You won't get very far like this. In fact, you may get worse! This can lead to self-destruction and pride issues that will make others not want to be around you. Pride takes over and nobody likes to be around a prideful person! Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

So how can we get over ourselves when we are like this?
When your life is consumed by jealousy, it's hard to recognize. When you have jealously just in one area, it's sometimes easier to notice within yourself and you want to get rid of it but don't know how! KNOWING that and recognizing it is best! If you can't recognize it, you are more than likely going to blame things on others.
Get motivated to move past this! Everyone wants to be loved, everyone wants to be noticed, and everyone wants to feel accepted! Wouldn't it be great if we could do that when GOD wants that for us instead of trying to create our own happiness and fulfillment? If you want a quick way to lower you self-esteem....become a jealous person! Quit looking to others for affirmation! The only person's opinion that matters of you is God's! This one...I've learned the hard way and really still struggle with it. But I am growing in his grace and love for me. Not someone elses!

Thoughts to ponder:
Do you trust God enough to give you what you need?
Do you desire to be an active "positive" participant in the group you are in?
Quit being selfish! When we focus on self, our eyes are off the only one that matters!
A jealous person is not an attractive person to anyone.
Find out what your motive is! Is it fear? Acceptance? Self worth?
Can you look at it from another's point of view?
Can you find out what is making you jealous? Is is a person, an action, etc?
Do you know all the facts? Are you making it more than what it really is?
Try to find another emotion to put in the place of jealousy!
Pray that God will take away these feelings and replace it with something good.

End of the story:
I am still an active part of the group mentioned in the beginning. I am the leader of 63 people and have been for 6+ years. We are all very unique in our own ways. Some have special gifts that I would only dream of having.
Does this make my job any more difficult? No. Because we are all on the same page. Does it make me jealous of them? Sometimes, but that's a personal issue within myself that I have to deal with between me and God, not them!
I have seen groups time and time again destroyed because of jealously among them and it is so sad! We don't have to have this in our lives. I am happy that in the beginning, our group adopted the rule that if there were ever any problems that should arise like this, they would take it to the person responsible that could fix the problem. If this person could not fix it, then we each had to find it within ourselves to know where to go inside ourselves for the answer. And that only answer comes from God. Jealously is not usually created by another person, but usually comes from a fear that we create within ourselves. Only one person can take that away! John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Father, I know I struggle with jealousy and I pray you deliver this from me today. I beg you to take any jealous thought I have in me and replace it with something good and pleasing to you. I pray that you help me understand YOUR will for me and realize that your will gives me all I could ever need. Help me to set my sights on Heavenly things and not the earthly things that don't really matter. Help me to love those that I have been jealous of. Help me and teach me to love them like you love them. Help me to seek the good in others and not myself. Help me to put my hope and trust in you. Help me to have a thankful heart. And Father, please help me to be humble in everything I do. Help me to be humble in my service to you and take away anything that may cause me to be prideful for that is not who I want to be. Grant me only the things that you wish for me to have that will make me a better servant for your kingdom. Amen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I am more than a seed....

I'm a flower!

What is your favorite flower?

Mine is a Stargazer Lilly. They are beautiful, colorful, each petal opens in a different direction, has a heavenly scent, and no matter what the occasion, happy or sad, they say what needs to be said. These flowers stand out! They are bold, beautiful and dramatic and they make a statement wherever they are. This flower is upbeat and can conform to whatever occasion is necessary. Mixed with other flowers, they are sure to make a beautiful bouquet, but still stand out among the rest.

A little history on Lilies:
The Stargazer is an oriental hybrid. They have traditionally represented innocence and purity. White stargazer lilies represent purity of the heart and sympathy. Pink ones represent wealth and prosperity. In the 1920's they found that these flowers were easy to grow and produce a dramatic effect! To grow them they need full sun and little shade! They grow in the summer, become very tall, and needed consistent water. They are called "stargazers" because their blooms look up to the sky! The Oriential meaning of the stargazer is "I see Heaven in your eyes"

I believe that Jesus enjoyed flowers just as much as I do.
There is a bit of controversy in regards to how many flowers are mentioned in the Bible. Most of that could be solved by explaining the translation you are reading. I can find 7 different types of flowers are mentioned in one translation or another. Anemone, Crocus, Cyclamen, Hyacinth, Iris, Lily, Narcissus, Star-of-Bethlehem, and Tulip. I would venture to say that the Lily is flower remembered by most.

"I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys" (Song of Solomon 2:1 KJV)

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2 (New Living Translation)

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. “(Matthew 6:27-29)

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23-25 )

So wouldn’t you like to be like the lilies that God speaks of?
If I look back that the top and see the things that are radiant about the Stargazer I would love to imagine myself as these “beautiful, colorful, growing in various directions, have a heavenly scent, stand out, bold, dramatic, upbeat, pure of heart mix well with others, stand out among the rest, and make a statement wherever I am.”

If I want to be like a beautiful Startgazer Lily, I have to grow in areas where God already has me planted. I need to stand in the Son…not the Sun…to get plenty of light. I need to be watered and fed. Standing in the shadows won’t get me anywhere. When I bloom in God’s light, I want to look to the sky, just as the Lily does. And what if there is nobody to water my seed to help me grow?? Then I pray that God sends the rain!
Let someone See Heaven in your eyes today!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yesterday??? Just another day? Nope!

A day of sorrow....

A day of confession....

A day to declare....

A day to die....

And a day to LIVE!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Give it ALL.....

Wow...this is one of those blogs where I have idea where to start.

Do you ever have something so heavy in your life that the only way to deal with it....is control it yourself?

So many times, I try and try to give things over to God. But don't give it ALL to him.

Many times when I pray, I will get down on one knee. Nothing really wrong with that. Instead of kneeling on both knees, it's just one...so would that count as only partially giving something to God?
Does praying on one knee mean "I still want some control myself?"

Before God can do anything for us, He must have all of us. We must pray on both knees.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

God of this City

I really love this song. It just speaks volumes to what God is getting ready to do here.

video

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Being Random Again

I feel odd when I have nothing to blog. So much I could say...so much I probably shouldn't say. So...there is random.

* My semester is now 1/2 over. Last year this time, I was sick and Chad was sick. Praise God we made it through.

* I find that since I quit watching TV....my kids have pretty much quit too. Their attitudes are different, they are more loving, I see less fighting, and their minds are more creative. Still hard to get them to do their homework though.

* I have discovered that I like making videos. However, I found out that my OCD style makes it frustrating for me to get it "just right".

* Lukus' football team is now 6-0.

* My Thursday morning class at 6:30am is WAY TOO EARLY!!!!

* I wonder if I will want to stay in the house after it is fixed up? NO!

* I find that speaking into a microphone in front of an audience is MUCH HARDER than singing in front of an audience. Weird huh?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Overwhelmed!

Imagine my shock! I open the mailbox and there it is. A Homes and Land magazine with our house listed in it for sale! We don't even have a sign in the yard yet. And even better, it's listed on the Internet! Ugh! What to do? The house is not ready. I can't find time to get it done. I can't find a moment to breathe lately. The walls are sinking in fast. I have the supplies, the paint, everything. The hard work is done. The trim is taped off! It's ready to go. All I have to do is pour it in a pan....and roll it on. Sounds simple huh? Where do I find the time?
God sent an angel to call me last night. Tammy called and asked if she could put some time on her calendar to come over and paint. I don't have to be here, just leave it where she can find it and leave a key. My first instinct was to say NO. But the first thing that came out of my mouth was YES! It's so hard to ask for help when you know you really need it. We don't want to be needy people. But God designed us to lean on each other and to lean on Him. So that....is what I am choosing to do.

Our lifestyle has changed drastically this year. Chad's hours cause us never to see each other. Communication with him has nearly ceased or has moved into the texting phase. If it wasn't for technology, I would not ever get the chance to talk to him. Guess I should be thankful for AT&T.

I find myself searching for adult conversation again. I haven't experienced that since my kids were toddlers.

3 months ago I decided to stop watching television totally. If it weren't for the kids, I would not even own one now. (okay...not true...it is football season) But even with Football, I barely have time to take a glance at that. But I've noticed something. You know how much drama is on TV? Between sitcoms and the news, that's really all it is. So if you're not watching drama, well, you create it. And boy, did I ever know how to create drama. This is such a fault of mine! Maybe I should get wrapped up in those shows like desperate housewives (which I've never watched) or Grey's Anatomy or House or anything that gives me that fictional life that everyone dreams about. NOOOO! That's not the right thing!

In the little amount of time I do have, I have devoted about 30 minutes everyday to my own personal bible study. In three months it has been the most rewarding thing I have done and I love it. I have learned so much about myself by looking at my life and comparing it to someone in the Bible, a principle, or a law/commandment. Now...granted, that's not always good. What I have found out about me has not been great. Leading to being even more overwhelmed.

I've made some decisions in my life that haven't always been smart ones.
But today, I spoke to someone very encouraging who I believe is going to give me some hope for the future. I see a journey that I have been on which I call the path of destruction. I see a journey that I am embarking on that can only lead to me being closer with Christ. Recognizing that I am a sinner is the first step. How I deal with that is the next journey! Stay tuned!

Moving Mountains

In the past 3 months I have seen some of the worst parts of my life come to a head.

I have spent countless hours on my knees begging for help, and failing miserably.

Why does it feel like failing? Because I can't move on? Yes. When I experience pain in my life, I feel like there is a certain order of things that should happen. When I reach the point of being on my knees pouring my heart out to God, I think that everything should be okay and go away. That is not the case. What's really happening is I am expecting God to do it in Brenda time and not His time.

Timing is everything. Even when God created the world, it was all done on the basis of time....and he knew what to do next.

This weekend I am heading to Nashville with the Praise Team. However, I don't feel like I should go. I want to be there. I think God wants me to be there. I think there is something there for everyone of us that He wants to communicate to us. But when the going gets tough....I tend to run. And run in the opposite direction of what I really want. I have learned that is the wrong thing to do and can also lead to a path of destruction within yourself and among your friends and family.

When I got my new Zoe CD this week, I was really excited. But I had no idea how hard the lyrics of the songs were going to hit me. These are not songs that I have never heard before, but right now, they speak volumes to me.
"Mighty To Save"
Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus


I'm ready for Him to move the mountain in my life so I can be the child He wants me to be. But I'm fearful of failing.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

SATAN IS A THIEF!!!

Does that title get your attention? It should!

What is it that Satan loves to steal? EVERYTHING!

One in particular is your joy! Because Joy bring SOOO many beautiful things that God intended to give us that Satan can't wait to rob you of it.

He's the real Joy killer. He tells us lies that hurt us beyond repair. He tells us things that make us feel that we are not worthy!

I suffer GREATLY from that! So many times in my life, including now, I struggle to find my self worth again. And every time, I know what God tells me about myself is the TRUTH! Yet, Satan comes in again to destroy all the worth I have. GRRRR!!!!!

The lies I fall for every time:

It doesn't matter WHAT I DO, I will never be able to measure up!

There is nothing I can do that is ever sufficient or pleasing.

I can try my hardest, AND I WILL STILL FAIL!

I am optional!!!! There is no one that I am a vital person to! I am easily replace and forgotten!

I don't have a purpose. I'm not making an impact. I don't make a difference.

The only reason people include me is because they feel sorry for me.

They don't really want to be around me. I am a burden on others.


Friend let me tell you....this is all a LIE! God gives us such peace and joy in times like this. He has the most unbelievable amount of patience in our times of despair. His love and acceptance is all that matters here on Earth! We should not look to please anyone else but Him. And if you don't feel like what you are doing is pleasing, then do something different. Different doesn't mean DRASTIC like my often changing hair color.....it just means tweak what you are doing somehow!
If you need a good cry....go cry! If you need to yell...go yell! If you need to lean on the shoulder of someone who cares for you...then do that too. But don't let Satan destroy you by taking away the joy of something that you have loved for so long and have such great passion for....just because you think you are worthless.
YOU ARE AMAZING, EXCITING, VALUED, and even if you don't realize it....someway....somehow....you are doing SOMETHING that is making a difference in the lives of others. Just because you don't HEAR it or SEE it happening, doesn't mean that God is not working through you. He is! God doesn't have to yell to get his point across. Most of the time, it comes in the deepest whispers of your heart!