BE Little Again

 

Puddle Jumping
Puddle Jumping

 

   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

It’s been raining..raining…and raining some more in our “neck of the woods”. 🙂 Puddles everywhere. As we were getting ready to leave one of the buildings at the women’s retreat that I was at this weekend, the bottom fell out. Yuck. No umbrella….

That’s when one of my dear friends reminded me of something. She said we could play in the rain..have fun..enjoy it. Me, being the spontaneous person that I tend to be…said, “OKAY”! So, four of us took our shoes off..rolled up our pants..and commenced to playing in the rain. We ran straight to the biggest puddle that we could find. We got WET..and it was so much fun!

 

We are back home now, and it is STILL raining. So, this morning, I chose to have a good attitude about the wet weather. I threw on my rain boots and embraced the rainy weather. I don’t always do this. Some days I complain about it. I’ll let you in on a little secret….Enjoying the rain is so much better than complaining about it. 🙂

I enjoyed splashing in the puddles outside. (If you don’t have a pair of rain boots, you should really consider getting some. They don’t have to be expensive..just rubber boots…so you can play in the water. )

It’s all a choice. Perspective. How you look at things…

Every single day..In every single circumstance, we have a choice to make. Find the good or dwell on the not so good.

Back to puddle jumping…

On the way home from school and appointments, I shocked my girls. See, a few minutes earlier it was the typical not so joyful car ride home..that some of us parents are blessed with at times. All day I kept thinking about how fun it was to “play” in the rain this weekend. So, I just blurted out: “I want us to put on our rain boots and jump in puddles when we get home!” 

My youngest just smiled really big and giggled and said: “OKAY!” Not so sure that my oldest was quite as excited at first..(she may have thought that her Momma had finally lost it)….BUT, she did it. 🙂 We all had the best time. Just being. Just puddle jumping. Water splashing. Fun.

Our youngest having fun!
Our youngest having fun!

Because…….sometimes, we forget to just be.

   We forget to play.

   We forget that the simple things are the best things.

   That memories made are precious.

   That just jumping and splashing in the rain can make you feel pure joy. 

   Perspective.

   Changes everything.

Making Memories...
Making Memories…

 

I’m quoting my dear friend now: “Sometimes it’s nice to forget all our cares and be little again” 

   (Thank you, Amanda..for reminding me of this truth.)

So, I am challenging you to “be little again” every now and then. AND…if you’ve been looking at something in a negative light, to try to find the “good” in it. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t so bad after all.

 

 

         Until Next Time, 

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Slow Down

SLOW DOWN...or you'll miss the beauty around you. ~HD
SLOW DOWN…or you’ll miss the beauty around you. ~HD

 

Psalm 90:12 ~ Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom

 

There are times when I can be so impatient with my husband and daughters..especially our youngest. She’s the one who is most like him. I find myself rushing our girls. Hurry up. Come on. Let’s go. RIGHT now.

Time. It’s a precious commodity. Why do I rush it so?

I savor each moment with them. I love them so. Yet, I rush..rush…rush..

I don’t want the things that my children to remember about their childhood to be a bunch of “rush”. Now, mind you, some of the time, it is their fault for lagging behind. BUT, I still can choose to not let “time” make me frazzled. I can choose to live at a more relaxed pace. To be easygoing and “come what may”, when we are running behind.

I want to not live a “hurried” life.

Because…when we hurry..we miss things.

I don’t want to miss a thing.

In my devotion that I am doing daily, Ann Voskamp writes these thought-provoking truths:

   “Doesn’t all the hurry make us hurt? Slow never killed time. It’s the rushing and racing, the trying to catch up, this is what kills time – ourselves. WHY IN THE WORLD DO WE KEEP WOUNDING OURSELVES? Life is not an emergency.” { DEVOTION 11 ~ One Thousand Gifts Devotional, Ann Voskamp}

Might you, too, need to slow down?

Living life at a slower pace can really be a good thing.( Shhhhh. Don’t tell my kids and husband that. 🙂 )

   “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

 

               Until Next Time,

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That’s. Not. Healthy.

I’m good at stuffing. Stuffing drawers. Stuffing cabinets. Stuffing closets. AND, yes, stuffing my feelings. Throw it all in and hurry and slam it shut before it falls out or comes undone. Just, out of sight, out of mind.

That’s. Not. Healthy.

So, to be honest..it took me writing out my testimony to realize some of the reasons that I stuff. Some are just hereditary..and some are because of choices made.

So, after realizing some truths, I began to make some changes.

And..I began to change.

Now, I still fight the battle of stuffing. No, I’m not a hoarder by any means.I have no problem throwing away stuff.  I just tend to get overwhelmed and want to forget about it. That’s the case with organizing my home and my emotions.

You can’t break a lifelong habit overnight. It takes intentionality….To make healthy changes. It takes work.

When it comes to being unorganized…I found that admitting I can’t do it alone helped me a lot! I asked for help from someone near and dear to me..(she knows who she is). She’s a natural at this sort of thing. So, we organized and MAN, is life getting easier! I can focus better. It is awesome!

Now, as far as the emotional stuffing goes…That is a work in progress. There’s a thin line we have to be careful of. To still bridle the tongue and glorify God in everything.

To keep in mind that making a big deal about feelings…makes it ABOUT ME…not God.

To trust HIM in every situation and at the same time to deal with emotions, hurts, and feelings instead of stuffing them down. Pretending that they don’t exist. That’s. NOT. Healthy. But trusting HIM and giving it ALL to HIM to handle…That’s WAY BETTER than stuffing.

Psalm 28:7 ~ The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

So…I’m still a work in progress. Learning what to stuff and what not to stuff. Learning that everything has a place and that includes emotions.

I challenge you to look at yourself…Are you a stuffer? Or are you an exploder? Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Unglued, is a fantastic book.. She talks about the four reaction types. Most of us are more than just one type of reactor. Here is her blog post where she discusses the four types.

I’m so glad to know that God is not finished with me yet.

Philippians 1:6 ~ being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Until Next Time,

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November 29th ~ Thankful Thursdays

When do we normally give thanks? Not just praying..but when do we normally say Thank You or I’m thankful for… ?

Think about it for a second.

It is usually AFTER a blessing. Right?

After we’ve had an answered prayer.

After we’ve seen a beautiful sunset.

After.

What if we gave thanks to our Father before the blessing?

Jesus did.

Look at these two different passages of scripture and then tell me what you notice… They are lengthy..but PLEASE read them..

 

John 6:9-13 (NIV) ~ “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

There were ONLY five loaves and two small fish. There were about five thousand men. Jesus GAVE THANKS and then….fed all who were there and still had food left over!

John 11:38-44 (NIV) ~ Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

WOW! Can you just imagine this!!! Oh how awesome it would have been to have witnessed this first hand. I sit here now just imagining his voice..LOUDLY saying: “Lazarus, come out!” And then..to see the looks on their faces when lo and behold Lazarus came strutting out! Well, maybe he didn’t strut..I bet he was amazed and awestruck. Woah! Blows my mind.

They took away the stone at Jesus’ command and before Jesus even commanded Lazarus to come out, Jesus thanked God out loud for hearing him. BEFORE…not after the blessing..the miracle.

So..after reading and studying these passages, I am really reminded that we are supposed to give thanks BEFORE the blessing or miracle. That requires faith.

 

My gratitude list for this week’s post:

 

1) I am so thankful and blown away at how my God provides..He is so good to us!

2) I am thankful for photography..I’m thankful for those who allow me the privilege to photograph their families..and capturing those special moments..

3) I am thankful for being able to see and hear and taste…Being able to see the beauty around me..and even seeing the loneliness so that I can reach out. being able to hear the voices and laughter and music. Being able to taste good food. 🙂

4) I am thankful that my GOD will provide all of my needs.

 

Share with me…What 3 things are YOU thankful for this week …that have already happened? Then..what ONE thing are you thankful for that you are having faith that will happen?

 

Psalm 100:4 ~ Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

 

              Until Next Time,

 

 

 

 

Why Does It Even Matter?

 

 

Maybe you’ve heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. The first time I heard of it, my husband and I were on a church couples retreat. Wow, it was eye-opening. Basically, I learned what my husband’s and my own love languages were. {You know, like what makes you feel loved by your husband/wife.}

Acts of Service
Words of affirmation
Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
Physical Touch

Here is the website that you can go to at your convenience and take the quiz…
www.5lovelanguages.com

It says to give yourself 15-20 minutes to take it. May not take you that long..

My primary love language is WORDS OF AFFIRMATION . Makes sense.. Because even though it shouldn’t matter, words of affirmation ARE very important to me. I hate to admit that.. Let’s be real clear though..I am not talking about empty words or words that you know are not sincere..I’m not talking about flattery..

I love to GIVE them and yes, it makes me feel good to receive them.

It’s one of the reasons why writing words are important to me. WORDS.

It’s one of the reasons that hearing that I’ve done a good job at something makes me feel good.

Words.

It’s one of the reasons that I’m compelled to encourage.

Words.

Why does it even matter, though? Why does it hurt sometimes?

Isn’t God enough? (YES)

Why is it important that I “hear” the words of mere man?

I don’t know the answer to all of those questions. I do know this.. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement. And because words of affirmation mean a lot to me, I “love” others in this same language. Or, I try to. I still fail. I do need to listen more and talk less.

So, maybe my love language goes along with my gifts. WE ALL HAVE A SPIRITUAL GIFT if we are authentic believers in Christ Jesus. He didn’t skip over you. But, that’s another topic for another blog post on another day.

I really do believe that by knowing your spouse’s and even children’s and friends love languages, that you are learning how to make the ones you love actually “feel loved” by you.Makes life a lot easier and helps you to understand why you are the way you are and why others are the way that they are. Helps you to tune in to the needs of others. Doesn’t mean that you have to walk on eggshells, but it will make you aware. Who doesn’t want to feel loved? We all do…

Yet, we must remember that GOD is enough. GOD IS LOVE. HE really IS enough for me. Abundance of WORDS or a lack of WORDS is NOT where my JOY is found. Sure, they make me feel loved ( when they are sincere)…and sometimes happy..But, I don’t depend on them to bring me the JOY that can only be found in HIM.

Happiness and JOY are not the same.. Happiness is based on circumstances but Joy is based on the LORD. Happiness is like exchanging gifts and having fun at Christmastime..Joy is really GETTING and knowing what Christmas is all about. Happiness is if the line is short in front of you and JOY is finding peace even in a long line of waiting. Happiness is not falling in a mud puddle and JOY is falling in it and brushing yourself off and not letting it ruin your day.

 

 

Philippians 4:19 ~ And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

 

Even if others aren’t meeting our love language needs..God can and does! God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. People are fickle. People DO change. But, GOD NEVER DOES.

 

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

 

God created us to be relational. Relational with HIM first and then relational with others. To do this, we have to know how to relate to others.

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 ~ Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

 

So…if you want to..take the quiz.. You can even comment on here and let me know what you discovered about yourself! I would love to hear from you!

 

 

                 UNTIL NEXT TIME,

Thanksgiving Day ~ Thankful Thursdays

As this day comes to an end..I am thankful for the laughter and memories made!

Today was a day filled with family, friends, laughter and lots of good food. I’m so thankful for all of these things..

Especially.. The laughter…

You know.. We just have to slow down and take the time to notice all of the little things. The Sunsets…The “weeds”.. The little things..

This is a short and sweet post.. Why? Because I got a wild hair tonight and I’m standing in a crazy line outside of our mall… For what? I guess just the laughs.. And memories..

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV84)

Love and Blessings…

Until Next Time,

Heather

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Thankful Thursdays ~ November 15th

My girl…Content…

 

 

Philippians 4:12 ~ I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Philippians 4:19 ~ And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

 

 

I think it is safe to say that most of us have had good times and most of us have had not so good times. Whether it be financially, our health, or whatever. We have had times when we are on the mountaintop and times when we are in the valley.

The question is, have we been CONTENT in either place? Sure…we are content when we are way up high on the beautiful mountain. It’s easy to be content up there.

It’s when we are in the low times…the times of want…the valleys..that our faith is tested and proven.

It’s those times when we don’t know how we are going to make it… Those times that we walk in faith.. Trusting that God WILL provide all of our needs. We may not always get what we WANT…but GOD promises to meet ALL of our needs.

THAT IS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR!

 

 

When we can learn to be CONTENT in ANY situation, we have learned what it means to be fully surrendered. And full surrender = contentmentPEACE.

 

Does content mean that I LOVE every situation? NO. It simply means that I am gonna be ok no matter what because my GOD has got it under control. It means that I am able to find joy in the yuck. It means that I can find something to be thankful for in every situation.

 

Trust me..I know….some days it is harder to find that joy. Some days it can be almost impossible. Those are those days and moments when we have to work harder at being content. CONTENT in ANY and EVERY circumstance. Sometimes this will require us to “suck it up” and move on. Laugh if you want..but that is fact.

 

I want to be like Paul..in his letter to the Philippians..when he was able to say that he learned the secret to being content in any and every situation. This means that I must always look for the good, and always trust in HIM.

 

I have so much to be thankful for this week..

1) My husband..He has dropped everything to take care of me several times lately. (we’ve had stomach virus and cold junk with fever for the past 2 weeks in our home..)

2) Good health! Finally!

3) Power of prayer…privilege of prayer

4) My parents and my “other” parents (in-laws)…I’m so blessed to have a wonderful relationship with all of them.

5) An extra computer cord that happens to work with my laptop that I’m typing on right now..because..Marleigh struck again. This time the puppy chewed my laptop cord while I was writing this blog post.. {forced grin} I think she thought it was her bone..because she was chewing on her rawhide bone at the same time. 🙂

6) I’m EXTREMELY thankful for each and every one of YOU and that you take the time to read and sometimes share these posts.

 

What are YOU thankful for? Comment on here..or write it down in your journal. It’s contagious..giving thanks..

 

(While you are sharing with me what you are thankful for…would you share with me one Thanksgiving Day tradition and/or Day after Thanksgiving tradition… ?

On the day after Thanksgiving, my family and I usually begin putting up our Christmas decorations. We also go Black Friday Shopping sometimes. Years ago, we used to go to the Christmas tree farm and have a picnic together. Memories…Make some with your family this holiday season. )

 

 

                Until Next Time,