These Hands

These hands have held, been held, worked, wiped tears, patted backs, rubbed headaches away… these hands have been folded in prayer, they’ve reached out to another, twiddled, anxiously moved, covered a mouth filled with laughter, rubbed a back to console.

These hands have written down feelings, held the hand of a dying loved one, held a newborn child straight from the womb. These hands have raised to God in worship, stretched wide in desperation, lifted heavy loads, disciplined out of love, made mistakes, and begged for forgiveness. These hands have loved and lost and hurt and been hurt.

These hands will continue to make a difference here and now and forever. These are hands of mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, wives, cousins, aunts, nieces, a grandmother, a widow, sinners, redeemed women, saved by grace through faith daughters of The King. These are mine and Momma’s hands.

And Give Us Thankful Hearts

 

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I received a message.. “Do you remember what Daddy said for Grace?”

MY mind started reeling. Repeating it over in my head.. Again and again. Was it this? Wait, was it that?

Then I finally got it. As close as we can remember. He’s in heaven now. We are left with memories.

We are thankful for the memories. A father who said grace before each meal. I often wondered why it was the same prayer. Now, I’m so glad it was. Repetition drives it deep into our minds and hearts.

My husband was impacted by a line in the prayer. He said that our Daddy must have really had a lot to be thankful for and knew it because Daddy always said : “And give us thankful hearts for all those our many blessings.” I’m still not sure if it was thankful or grateful. It’s crazy how the smallest things matter now.

Today, on my family’s first Thanksgiving with Daddy in Heaven and the rest of us here, I’m choosing to be Thankful for all those our many blessings. Daddy taught us that.

So, here is Daddy’s “Grace” as good as I can remember:

(Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to thy service. And give us thankful hearts for all those our many blessings.
Amen.)

I may not remember it all.. Perfectly.. But what I do remember is this: Daddy was thankful. He loved life. He didn’t waste a single moment of his life. He was selfless and his hearts desire was to never be able to “say no to those who need and ask for help.”

 

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I’m choosing thankfulness today and every single day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I love you! Most importantly, JESUS loves you. He commands us as CHRISTIANS to give thanks in all circumstances. It’s not a little suggestion.. It’s a command.

Truth is, you can’t give thanks and not be filled with joy at the same time. Try it.


 

RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.


 

REFLECTION

Today I am thankful for:

1) The grace and mercy that Jesus shows me.

2) A legacy of a father who modeled thankfulness and a true heart for Jesus by his actions.

3) A husband who loves Jesus and loves me.

4) Our daughters. They make my heart swell.

5) My Momma…she models The Proverbs 31 woman. She’s my momma and my friend.

6)  All of our family…sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins.

7) My husband’s parents..who have always been so good to me and treat me like their own. They both Love The LORD so much and model Jesus to everyone.

8) Friends…so many who bless me in so many ways. Near and far, old and new. I am blessed.

9) My church family..Missions..

10) That Jesus would choose an ordinary person like me as HIS vessel for serving. 

What are you choosing to be thankful for today?


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Until Next Time,

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31 Days of Being Present

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Day 1 of Being Present

Day 2 Seeing Those Around You 

Day 3 

Day 4 When Memories Are All You Have Left

Day 5 Memories Made By Being Present

Day 6 Joining In This Challenge

Day 7 Better is One Day in His Presence

Day 8 Wishing Our Lives Away

Day 9 A Great Reminder

Day 10 Spending Time Alone

Day 11 My Place of Solace

Day 12 Memories in Pictures

Day 13 Missed Blessings

Day 14 Tea Leaves AND Time

Day 15 Making The Most Of Today

Day 16 Streams Of Living Water

Day 17 {NO post. Was being present..traveling.}

Day 18 When The Memories Hurt

Guess you noticed that I changed my topic for this 31 Days challenge that I am linking up with. I just wasn’t feeling the “Favorites” topic and couldn’t put my finger on why. Until this morning.

Three years ago, my husband and I were able to attend Catalyst in Atlanta, Georgia. The topic of that weekend was…. You guessed it, BE PRESENT. ( highlighted  to the left is the link to the post that I wrote 3 years ago). When I looked at Facebook this morning, a friend shared a link to a video and I knew then that my topic for 31 days was going to be about Being Present, In real life.

I could sure use the daily reminders, and maybe you will find them helpful as well.

I will be writing a short post daily. For 31 days straight. I will link each post back to this original post to make it easier to see them all..in one place.

There will be posts about how I am present in real life, posts about what you miss by not being present, posts about the value of real life interaction, and posts about limiting the use of social media, and who knows what else may pop up in between. My hope is to be real. Be Transparent. Be changed by the end of this 31 days.

I hope you’ll join me. If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now. Or, you can like my FB page and see the posts there as well. Tomorrow is the day.

See you then!

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New Year New Me

New Year New Me

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NLT)

It’s been quiet here on the blog. Not because my mind has been quiet.. Because it has not. My mind and soul have been overloaded lately. When that happens, I still write, I just don’t publish. Sometimes it’s quiet on here because God is allowing me some time to learn and grow and even rest.

Learn and grow … I’ve definitely been doing that.

Last year God pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study. I wasn’t quite sure as to why at the time. I still obeyed. Around that time, our oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, began expressing an interest in being in a private school or being homeschooled. She’s a wise teen with big plans and dreams for her future. We looked into both, prayed about it, and sent her back to the public high school.

Still praying. Still growing. Learning new things about myself. Learning that boundaries were biblical and good and healthy. Studied a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud / John Townsend. I did some bible studies on my own, and completed reading and studying through the entire Bible for my first time ever.

Through the last half of last year, I had shingles.. Which was very rare for someone my age. Stress can cause them to appear to anyone who has ever had chickenpox. I was definitely under some stress. My husband had a back injury that had him confined to the bed and then with a walker for several weeks. Things fell apart in different areas and other things fell together.

I got well, He was healed while on vacation. I mean healed. Instantly.
God was good and always faithful.

We also suffered a tragic loss of a family member in December of 2013. God has been faithful and good to our entire family through that as well. Our family’s faith in God is what has sustained everyone. I honestly don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with God survive the hard, tragic, and trying times in life.

Now on to 2014. After much prayer and research and more prayer, we signed our oldest up with a wonderful Homeschool group… Classical Conversations. She had her first official day of school this Thursday and we couldn’t be more pleased! Never say never… No, really.. Because that’s what I had always said.

God orchestrated every event and meeting and circumstance in a way that led me to meet with a fellow blogger, friend, and homeschooling mom. Which in turn led to us following HIS call on our life. To begin this journey with one of our children. Praying that our youngest will decide on her own to join as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. I was asked in the fall to speak at a girl’s conference at a local church. Talk about out of my comfort zone. The thought scared me to death. Me? Yes, HE said.. me. So, after much prayer and seeking wisdom from other Godly women, I agreed. Why? Because praise GODHE uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank goodness, HE also equips the called. AND… Because I don’t plan on speaking MY words. I only want to speak HIS. If one girl’s life is impacted, then I can handle a little stage fright.

I’ve learned to balance my life. Put my husband first, after God. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. That it is NECESSARY to eliminate stress. I’ve learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’ve learned that I do not have to allow negative opinions to affect me. I’ve learned that sometimes God requires me to do things that make no sense to me or anyone else at the time. I’ve learned that I do not have to make everyone happy and that I can’t. I’ve learned to be still and bridle my tongue. I’ve learned to set limits. I’ve learned to trust HIM more.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn this New Year!

It’s a New Year and each day HE is making a new me.

As a quote I found yesterday on Pinterest says: “I may not have always known what I wanted to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

I’m on my way.

I’m living for God.

I’m not backing down.

I’m not entertaining negativity.

I’m seeking HIS WILL in everything.

I’m stepping out, even further out, of my comfort zone.

I’m NOT feeling guilty for saying no to negativity or drama or for eliminating stress.

Lots of new changes this year. One homeschooled by me, one still in public school ( middle school). A 16 year old with a driver’s license… (Learning the real meaning to praying without ceasing). Speaking at an event for the first time, (In front of teen girls). Who knows what else.. I do know that whether it be good or tragic, God is good and will hold me and my family in the palm of HIS hands.

One last thing, I wrote a list of my goals for this year in my journal. Maybe you have already done the same thing, if not, maybe you should.

Just know this… Your goals are great but be willing to let God interrupt your plans. For HIS plans are much better. Even if we don’t always understand them.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Seeking HIS Will,

Heather

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YOU TALKING TO ME ?

Psalm 18:31,32 (NLT) ~ For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

 

I have to be honest. Sometimes I really do find myself talking back to The Holy Spirit. When I feel there is something way out of my league that HE is calling me to do. I really do say.. in my head.. “You talking to me?”

{As if HE would get me confused with someone else. Not possible. HE is GOD.}

The truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing every single thing that I am prompted to do. That’s where HE comes in. If HE calls then I can obey or disobey.

I can shrink back in fear, and I have been guilty of this, or I can rest in the fact that HE is who equips anyone who HE calls. If it was ME…then it wouldn’t be HE.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Me…messes up.

Me…gets scared. Really scared. Like, terrified.

Me…wants to sit back and just do my thing..quietly.

BUT.

HE…asks me (and you) to obey.

HE… says “I’ve got this and you are just my tool of choice for this task.”

HE…equips those who HE calls.

 

All of that being said, God has really been working on me lately.

It began back in about April of this year. He pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study for a time. Something that I love doing and still miss! He taught me about getting my priorities in the right order. GOD, My husband, My children, and THEN everyone else. He led me to work on me and the areas that I needed to surrender to HIM.

I obeyed. Not knowing why..just that I HAD to. I waited somewhat patiently for an answer to several questions. I waited some more. Still digging deep into HIS WORD.

Then, HE began opening doors that I never knew would really ever be opened. Doors that scare me. Doors that HE wants opened. Read that again. DOORS that HE wants opened.

There are things that God will call us to do in our lives. If we aren’t listening, we won’t hear HIM. If we aren’t seeking HIM we will miss it. If we are TOO BUSY even with the good stuff, we may miss it. If we say no then we will miss out and at the same time be disobedient. (If you’ve never read some of the history in the Old Testament, you should..you’ll see how disobedience worked out for them.)

It’s really amazing to me how even the Bible studies that I was led to do during this time of alone time are just what I needed. I am currently doing one that has to do with discerning HIS voice. Imagine that! 🙂

God has led certain people into my path who have been obedient to HIM as well. They have spoken truth and wisdom into my life. All because of obedience and answering HIS prompting.

I have lots more to share with you in the days to come, when it is the right time. I am so excited and nervous and scared…but I know that by being obedient to GOD, I am doing what is right and pleasing in HIS sight. That is what matters. 🙂 {AND, I’m reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in my mind.}

Do I think I am capable on my own to do anything that HE asks me to do? DEFINITELY NOT. That is awesome though! Because of that FACT, HE gets ALL of the glory! 

As I close, I would like to ask you some questions. Questions that are between you and GOD.

Are you intentionally seeking HIS will for you and your family, or are you intentionally not seeking it because it scares you ? (Hey, that is a valid question..)

Are you ignoring HIS voice, or are you making time to hear it ? (it takes intentionality)

Just know that if you find yourself asking, “You talking to me?” , that there is a good chance that HE is. However, to be completely sure, know that HIS voice matches HIS WORD.

 

 

Until next time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday was Thursday.. Obviously. 💁

However, Today is November 1st.

Love that so many join in on the 30 days of thanks in November. So let’s get started today! If you don’t post it on social media, it’s ok! Write it in your journal! Or, at supper time go around the table and share something you are thankful for each day.

The more you practice GIVING THANKS, the more likely you are to get in the habit of Giving Thanks daily. Not just on Thankful Thursdays or in November. 😊

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalms 136:1 NLT)

I’m thankful for my husband who is also the best friend I’ve ever had and loves me at my worst and my best.

I’m thankful for our two daughters who make us laugh every single day, and who shine Jesus.

I’m thankful for naps. 😊

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend! What one thing are you most thankful for today? Write it down.. Then you can look back and see your blessings at any time.

Until Next Time,

HEATHER

Thankful Thursday ~ October 17th 2013

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A wise person once said:

” Every day may not be good….but there is something good in every day. “

It is only 6 WEEKS until Thanksgiving! Here in South Georgia the extremely hot days have turned into 80s on some days. That’s better than 100 though! Leaves are falling. The skies are looking more fall like. There’s a slight breeze on most days. Fall decorations are going up outside of homes. Fall is in the air. Even if the air is still a bit warm and humid. 🙂

Time to do the weekly Thankful Thursday posts again!

Thanks Giving should happen daily. There is no way to be sad while expressing gratitude. There is JOY to be found in giving thanks.

Everybody has something that they can be thankful for. I’m asking you to think of your top 3 things. If we are unable to think of anything then we have a serious reality problem.

Have you heard of the saying: “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” ?

See, everyone has STUFF. But, everyone has some good STUFF too!

It’s a matter of perspective. How we choose to look at life. Life is a gift. Each day is a gift…each breath is a miracle. That in itself is something to be thankful for.

The next time you are feeling grumpy or aggravated ask yourself why? Could it be that you have chosen to look at things negatively? Could it be that you haven’t thanked God for anything that day?

God tells us to GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Why do you suppose He commands that of us?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Maybe when we THANK God in the hard times and even for the hard times…He is pleased and it shows our trust and faith in Him. Faith that He will and can if He so chooses…make all things work together for good for those who are the called, according to HIS purpose. He wants us to trust Him. AND….it plainly says that “this is God’s will for you”.

Some days it is easier and more natural to give thanks. Have you ever given thanks when you didn’t like the situation? No, I don’t mean FAKE thanks. But…thanking God for being there for you when you were not happy. Telling HIM that you don’t understand but you do trust HIM. Thanking God when you were sad or disappointed.

How? By trusting HIM.  Thanking HIM for never abandoning you. He will never abandon HIS children.

Psalm 37:28a ~ For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.

That is something to be thankful for.

Now for my list!

Here are 3 things that I am THANKFUL for today:

1) A husband that loves others with compassion and treats all people with the love of Jesus and equally. So proud to be his wife.

2) Grace from God and family and friends. For loving me when I least deserve it. For loving me when I am unloveable.

3) Family devotions 2 nights in a row. One led entirely by our oldest daughter (picking the topic, verses, etc.. and sharing) and one last night by my husband.

What 3 things are YOU thankful for today?

Share them by replying to this post…or write them in your journal.

Giving thanks is contagious and addictive. A GOOD thing to be addicted to!

Blessings my friends!

 

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

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