Monday, May 25, 2009

Blessing Box...

Several years ago, I went through a painful separation and divorce. While it was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I had to go through to date, it was also the most liberating in terms of my walk with the Lord. Prior to that time, my relationship with the Lord was convenient - for me, that is. Sure, I would go to church each Sunday, and I would pray occasionally when I needed something or on behalf of someone else. I had what I heard someone once describe as "accessory faith". Kind of like an earring, I would put it on when I needed to, but it was also very easy to remove. However, the end of my marriage changed that accessory faith to what this person called "necessity faith". It was no longer something that I would lean on once in while - this kind of faith became my lifeline. I couldn't function with God...I was totally helpless in my own skin. I cried out to Him about everything. I also found it difficult to think about anything good going on my life, because the darkness was too thick. But...then came the Blessing Box. It really started out as a Blessing Envelope. Whenever I received a kind card or note - it went in the blessing envelope. If someone sent me money or gift cards to help during these difficult financial days, I would record the blessing on an index card and put it in the envelope. ANYTHING that was "blessing oriented" went into the envelope. Eventually, the envelope was too small, and I moved the contents into a box. I decided to return to the box (or envelope, initially) whenever I would fall into a slump or start feeling sorry for myself. The reminders that I had saved always pulled me out of that temporary turmoil. Now, many years later, I still have the box. I still put records of blessings into it, and I still use it as a pick-me-up whenever life gets tough, and I need encouragement. So, if you are drowning in hopelessness or are simply down and can't see light, I challenge you to begin a Blessing Box of your own. Start recording those blessings - no matter how small - and watch them multiply! You might find life is amazingly better and far more blessed than you could ever believe!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can't Sleep...

I'm usually in bed between 10:00-10:30 every night...not tonight, however. The clock just struck midnight a little while ago, and I'm still wide-eyed. I very seldom have trouble sleeping, but it's happened to me twice this week already. I think my mind is simply running away from me. As a perpetual listmaker, I seem to keep making to-do lists in mind. This stems partly from the fact that I've been recovering from foot surgery now for almost two weeks. During that time, work has piled up at the office, chores have piled up at home, shopping needs have had to be put on hold, and the list goes on. Now - I need to stop right here and say that I've had immeasurable help during these two weeks: meals have been provided, laundry has been kept up with by my husband and daughter, co-workers have been working through some of the piles on my desk, etc. However, I'm beginning to feel anxious about everything else still to do. The moment the word anxious penetrated my mind, God reminded me of one of my most favorite memory verses that He taught me earlier this year...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippian 4:6-7

I'm so thankful for God's Word. I've really dug deep this year to memorize more and more of His beautiful Word, and to "hide it in my heart". He never fails to remind me of His promises when I need to hear them most. So, with that said...I'm renewing my mind right now with thoughts of Him and His faithfulness, and I'm going to bed - trusting I will enter a restful sleep very soon! Be blessed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

God Answers...

WOW! God is good! No...God is GREAT! You know - I don't brag on God enough. He is so awesome and amazing and so worthy to be praised ALL THE TIME and in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! However, I usually don't invite God to my pity parties or to those times when life is simply status quo. So, when those times come again - and, I'm sure they will - I pray this post stands as a reminder to me that He is good all the time, and all the time He is good! Let me share the latest awesomeness of my Great God...

My brother, Derek, and his wife, Shawna, unsuccessfully tried to start a family on their own several years ago. Shawna and I have a similar infertility problem, so I have always shared in their pain (although, God blessed me 12 years ago with a beautiful daughter). Eventually, they began to look at adoption options. Costly and lengthy as they might be, they endeavored to begin that journey together. They've prayed, their church has prayed (Derek is a pastor), their family has prayed, their friends have prayed, and strangers have prayed! The prayers were lifted up, but God seemed to have a different timetable. Things changed a couple of weeks ago, however. Derek and Shawna learned that their adoption "profile" had been selected by a birthmom in Oklahoma - 7 hours away from their home in Kansas. Excitement and anxiety immediately took root within them. Could this really be the time? Are they finally going to be blessed to be parents? Well, they did the first thing and only thing they knew to do - began praying over every single thing associated with this adoption.

1. They prayed that the finances would be there. Being in another state, this was going to be much costlier than ever anticipated. GOD ANSWERED!

2. They prayed that the birthmom would continue to feel encouraged by her selection of them even via their first conference call. GOD ANSWERED!

3. They prayed that they would have the strength, know-how, and ability to put together a baby's room "on the fly" and that they would have all they needed to begin life with a newborn. GOD ANSWERED!

4. They prayed that the trip to Oklahoma and first meeting with the birthmom would go smoothly. GOD ANSWERED!

5. They prayed that they would be allowed to be there for the birth of the baby. GOD ANSWERED! (They even got to cut the cord.)

6. They prayed that the birthmom would still be willing to sign away her parental rights even after the baby was born, knowing that this is the best thing for her son. GOD ANSWERED!

7. They prayed that their baby would be born in perfect condition. GOD ANSWERED!

Derek and Shawna became the abundantly blessed parents of Jonah Gage on Wednesday, May 6 at 6:28 pm. They are in awe at how God has blessed them and has continued to bless them. There is still paperwork to be done, hurdles to cross, and much to be done before Jonah is "officially" named their son, but they have no reason to believe that this won't happen one day, because GOD ANSWERS!!!

While this may be all about my awesome God and my darling new nephew...I can't help on this particular Sunday in May, to say Happy Mother's Day Shawna! You and Derek will be amazing parents to precious Jonah. I will never stop praying for him! I consider it a privilege, and I now that GOD ANSWERS!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Confessions from a Perfectionist...


It's been a long time since I've posted anything. I'm ashamed that I haven't kept up with my blog the way that I originally intended. You know what my biggest problem is? I'm a perfectionist. Please hear me say that in the most humble way imaginable. This is probably my biggest flaw. While many people feel that this could be a wonderful trait to possess, I totally disagree. For me, perfectionism allows me to remain stuck...keeps me from trying new adventures...causes me to procrastinate often...creates sheer frustration for me. I'm constantly trying to do something better. I'm never happy with the "finished result", therefore so many things never even reach the level of "finished". So it is with my blog. I have so many things I want to write about, but it seems those ideas remain in my head. Even those simple things that take place each day in my life can't seem to make it to my blog. I'm afraid to say that I'll do better from this point on, because I only seem to set myself up for failure when I make those kinds of promises. However, please know that I recognize the problem and am looking to the One who made me to help me overcome this obstacle. Will you please pray for me that this flaw of perfectionism turns into the gift that it was meant to be? Thank you are loved! Be blessed!