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I had no internet last night and I simply am not capable of writing an entire post on my phone.😀 I hope to be back up and running on Friday.

Have an awesome day!
Wendy

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Teen Widsom

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

This past Saturday, my son came home with a story he wanted to share. He had been out to dinner with some friends. It was dark and very cold and he noticed an elderly couple in the parking lot with car trouble. The hood was raised and their car wouldn’t start.

He said he didn’t know what he could do for them, but he felt compelled to help them.

He discovered right away that English was their second language and that they didn’t know that much about cars. They were also hesitant to talk to him. I suppose teenagers don’t have the best reputation these days. But, he was persistent. He fought his way through the language barrier and he found that they thought it was a dead battery.

He didn’t have jumper cables but, there was an AutoZone just up the hill. He offered to call and they agreed. The guy who answered the phone was very nice and they talked about the model of the car and the battery it would need. My son was planning to offer to drive them, when out of the blue, the car started.

He kept the AutoZone employee on the phone for a few minutes and gave them directions. They were extremely grateful and they got in their car and drove away.

I’m sharing this story not because I’m proud of my son, although I am, but because he felt compelled to help and he did. My son knows nothing about cars. He will proudly tell anyone who asks that he’s a band nerd and a computer geek. He loves technology and thrives in that world.

Yet, when he saw someone in need, even though they required a skill he didn’t have, he figured out a way to help anyway. He used his beloved iphone and called someone who could help and who happened to be very close by.

I don’t think I would have thought of that.

I think many times, our go to, is to walk away because we don’t know how to help. We want to help, but the situation can seem so dire, that we just do nothing. Our hearts are often in the right place, but when it comes to action, we miss the mark.

Yet, as Christians, we are called to be His hands and feet. We are called to the physical as well as the spiritual.
Perhaps, the next time our hearts are compelled to help, we should simply offer our help in whatever capacity we have. Perhaps we should stop worrying that we don’t have enough and trust in the One who does.

For He can take our tiny offering and feed the multitudes or even start a car. Our lack has never limited His abilities.

A teenager reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Trusting God, Watching for God | 5 Comments

Finding Him in the Ordinary

His footprints are everywhere.

As I sat down to write today’s post, I had no idea what I would say. I always attempt to see God in my daily life and share it here in this space, in ways to hopefully, inspire others to do the same. The only problem is that I always require some downtime to sit and reflect and the past couple of days have given me very little downtime.

Monday, I had to run to a store right after work for a great deal on some Christmas shopping. I did get exactly what I was looking for, but the lines were long and it took a while.

When I got home, my son wanted some input on a fairly lengthy paper he had written for school. It went on way past dinner, and I had to help him with lots of grammar, but the story was fantastic and he ended it with a Bible verse from Proverbs. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed.

I was also too tired to write.

Yesterday, I spent my afternoon texting back and forth with my daughter in college, about an opinion piece she wrote for a class. She also wanted my input and when we found that our opinions differed a bit, we texted back and forth about that. It was an intelligent and respectful exchange and I was impressed by the adult that she has become.

Then, my son came home and told me about his day. Then there was dinner. Then I had choir practice for our Christmas Cantata which is this Sunday.

Once again, I had no down time, but even so, God was there whether I saw Him or not.

As I write about the past two busy, yet ordinary days, I can see the hand of God everywhere. He was there when my son asked for my assistance, respecting my opinion. He was certainly there when a Bible verse showed up unexpectedly in his paper.

He was there at the store when I found the very item I was looking for at less than half the original price.

He was there when my daughter and I effectively and peacefully communicated with each other over differing opinions.

He was there when I joined with others in choir practice, to lift my voice to praise His son.

So, today, I don’t have a special moment or one single instance that points to God to share. But, I do have the past couple of days where He was constantly at work in the background. I can see Him there when when I actively look. For me, that makes the ordinary extraordinary.

I’ll bet if you think about it, you can say the same about your seemingly mundane day.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Building Christian Character, Watching for God | 2 Comments

Spreading Positive Tidings

Perhaps we should be the change we seek.

On Saturday night, the Georgia Bulldogs played the Auburn Tigers, for the SEC Championship. The stakes and the tensions were high because so much was riding on the game, not to mention that Georgia had lost to Auburn just a few weeks earlier.

After that loss, I ran into a friend of mine from work, buying groceries at Walmart. She’s a big Auburn fan. We talked a few minutes about their big win and I congratulated her. We talked about how wearing the orange and blue Auburn colors might be dangerous in a Walmart in Athens, Georgia. We are after all, in Bulldog country. But, we also laughed about it being just a game.

She shared with me that a friend of her teenage daughter, had been really ugly to her after the win. We both kind of shook our heads, wondering why friends would be so petty about something like a football game.

She wore her Auburn colors loud and proud, to work on Monday morning and we all, (most of us Bulldog fans), congratulated her and maybe picked on her a little, but it was all in good fun. She knew it and we knew it.

On Saturday night, the Bulldogs won the rematch and Auburn lost. As I scrolled down on my Facebook feed covered with many, “Dawgs win!,” messages, I came upon a post from my Auburn friend. She simply said, “Win or lose, it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!! Congrats Georgia!”

I was stunned and incredibly impressed. She didn’t have to say anything, but she did.

I remember when football games were merely games and at the end of the day, winners and losers were good sports, no matter the outcome. I remember when politics was simply politics and if your guy won and mine lost, were still friends. It was after all, just politics. I remember when we were told that everyone’s opinion mattered and when we differed that was okay, because the differences of ideas and opinions, helped to make our country great.

I don’t know what has happened in the past decade or two. We have become so serious and self-focused about everything we do. Somehow, things like sporting events and political races have become ways to spread hate. We have become thin skinned too. We have become completely intolerant of people who don’t think like us.

If they don’t agree with us, then they hate us. Where has our self-control gone? Where has our patience and integrity gone? What happened to our sense of humor? What has happened to our focus?

If the answer to those questions is social media, then maybe social media can be part of the solution. I replied to my friend’s post as soon as I saw it and told her she was my favorite Auburn Tiger. There were a few others who replied positively as well.

If we all followed that example and decided to spread humility, graciousness and love on social media, could we make a difference? Could we stem the tide of anger and hate? Seems to me that Advent might be the perfect season to give it a try.

It simply begins with a single keystroke.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

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Christmas Preparation

Advent is a time of preparation.

Earlier this week, the faculty and staff at the school where I work, joined together to have a baby shower for one of our own. Now, it’s been a long time since I have spent much time with a pregnant lady, so spending the last few months watching a young, excited, happily married, mother-to-be, grow a life has been incredibly heartwarming.

As I looked around the shower at all of the preparations that had been made, from the punch bowl with rubber ducks floating in it, to the beautiful cake decorated with favorite book characters, I was struck at how beautiful it is to celebrate life.

We all came together to contribute just an individual thread in the very beginning of a tapestry that will be this child’s life. We came together to help the future mommy prepare and celebrate, and while a baby shower is not an uncommon event, I truly can’t think of a more positive one, or anything more appropriate to lead into Advent.

Today marks the first day of the Advent season, a time when we are called to prepare the way of the Lord. We are called to prepare our hearts and minds not only for the Christ child, but also for His return.

Most expectant mommies have themes for their nurseries. Some choose animals, flowers or a favorite story. The people who come to baby showers to help her prepare, will often buy something that has to do with the theme or something off of a gift registry.

I think that if Advent had a theme, it would be peace, love, joy and light. The registry would have things like forgiveness, kindness and patience.

If we were attending an Advent themed shower, how would we go about achieving those things? How would we find peace? How would we seek the light? How would share the light? How would we find and give forgiveness? How would we find joy? How would we learn to love freely?

The answers of course, all point to Jesus. Through Him we are able to have and reflect all of those things.

A baby shower reminded me that to truly appreciate Christmas, we need to take the time to intentionally prepare during Advent. We need to intentionally prepare the way of the Lord. We can take some daily quiet time during this busy season to remind ourselves why it is that we celebrate.

Then, on Christmas Eve, we too, can truly celebrate with the angels.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

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Wilderness Peparation

When we walk with God, we are never lost.

If I were to ask you to picture wilderness, what would come to mind? Would it be desert? Would it be a forest? Would it be an island in the middle of nowhere?

Whatever you picture, I’m sure it’s not a place where you would ask your travel agent to book your next vacation.

When I hear the term wilderness, I also immediately pair it with the word lost. Lost in the wilderness seems like a horrible state to be in and I remember news stories of people being lost in the wilderness. I suppose when I think of wilderness, I think of no way out.

But, the Bible tells us a different story about the wilderness. When God sent His people to the wilderness, not only was there a reason, but they were never lost. He knew right where they were and why.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were in the wilderness for forty years and while it was a punishment for disobedience, it was also an opportunity for them to grow, and to trust, and depend on Him. It was a time for them to ultimately leave their Egyptian captivity behind for good. Keep in mind He fed them and led them the entire time. They weren’t where they wanted to be, but they weren’t lost either.

And when the time came to claim the Promised Land, they were ready.

In the New Testament, when Jesus went out to the wilderness, He fasted for forty days and then was tempted by Satan. There was nothing fun about the wilderness for Jesus, but the Son of God went head to head with Satan and won. He too, was being prepared.

God had not abandoned Him.

There are times in our own lives when we find ourselves in a wilderness of some sort. Sometimes we made choices that put us there. Sometimes we have no idea how we got there or even why. Either way, if we lean into God, He will use those times to grow us and stretch us, to refine us, and to build us into something better and stronger.

God never abandons His people. We never walk alone. Then, when we least expect it, He will call us to our own promised land, the one He has uniquely planned for each of us.

Learning to accept seasons in the wilderness is part of our faith journey. Learning to trust that God will lead us out and into something better, is also part of our faith journey.

Sometimes I need reminding that the promised land is just ahead. Perhaps you do too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Choosing to See the Bright Side, Trusting God | Leave a comment

Thankful Hearts

The spirit of Thanksgiving should stay with us long after the meal.

As I was driving down the road yesterday, I passed by a sign out in front of a church that read, “Are you thankful or just full?” It was a simple play on words, but they stayed on my mind for the rest of the day.

Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving; where we were supposed to pause and give thanks for the abundance that most of us have, but before the table could be cleaned up and the leftovers put away, the Black Friday frenzy began, leaving in its wake some horrible stories of humanity acting badly.

Many of the stores actually opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day and I’m told there were lines out to the street.

Now, I’ve never expected Corporate America to have much of a conscience, but as a society, I think we are robbing our souls when we aren’t willing to take a day to pause and be thankful for what we have instead of rushing right into what we want.

I recently read a quote from Cicero. He said, “Not only is gratitude the greatest of virtues, but it’s the parent of all others.”

I find this statement to be unbelievably profound.

Gratitude is a choice and when we choose it, we refuse to be bound by what we don’t have. We refuse to be controlled by what we want. We refuse to be held captive by constant comparison to other people.

When we choose gratitude, we are actively thanking God for what He has given us and acknowledging His plan over our own. We are acknowledging His goodness and sovereignty even when we don’t understand.

Because no matter how dark our days may be, there’s always something to be thankful for and that insight can change everything.

The Bible tells us, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

It seems to me as we get ready to head back to work and start our diets attempting to lose all of the weight we put on at Thanksgiving, that it would be a good time to ask ourselves if we are thankful or just full, because the answer to that question has a huge impact on how we celebrate Advent.

Advent calls us to make our hearts ready for the coming of Jesus. Surely those hearts should be joyful and thankful. If not, perhaps we should make some changes.

A sign reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

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Choosing Peace

Jesus will always get us safely to the shore.

Yesterday my daddy was scheduled for a heart procedure. Between him and my mama, my family has been through a lot of heart procedures. He had a minor heart attack over twenty years ago. My mama’s and my daddy’s hearts have taught me a lot about faith. They have taught me not to panic.

Interestingly enough, Mama sent me a text yesterday morning that included her daily devotion. She felt that it was a message straight from the Holy Spirit and felt led to share.

The verse was Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

The writer then went on to recount a conversation she had with Corrie Ten Boom. She said, “There is no panic in heaven, only plans. The Holy Trinity has never met in an emergency session; God has not stepped down from His throne; Jesus has not left his right hand and the Holy Spirit has not stopped interceding for you.”

The devotion went on to say that anything contrary to that truth was lies.

I thought about those words all day long. When my children were little, before they could swim, we had a pool in the backyard. I always told them if they fell in, not to panic. The pool was not that big. All they had to do was get to the side. They could dog paddle or open their eyes and walk, but never panic. Panic would make them drown.

Perhaps I knew that truth because it had been shared with me. My great uncle used to come and visit us in the summer for a few weeks. He loved to fish in my parents’ pond, but he didn’t know how to swim. One day he was fishing and he fell out of the boat. He told my mama about it long after the fact. I think she almost passed out herself, before she weakly asked him how he got out.

He told her, “Hon, I got on my hands and knees and crawled to the shore.” The man clearly did not panic.

I always remembered those words, so much so, that I passed them on to my own kids.

If we remember not to panic, Jesus will always get us safely to the shore. We have an enemy who will desperately try to steal our peace, but we are called to remember that peace is a gift from the Holy Spirit. It’s ours to guard or to forfeit.

We always have a choice.

A later text from Mama told me that when the doctor came to see Daddy, his heart was actually back in rhythm. They didn’t have to do anything after all. I could have worried all day, but what would that have accomplished?

I might have missed a blessing. We are called to choose peace. A text reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

PS My daughter is coming home from college next week. I’m going to spend every moment possible with her so I won’t be posting. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Building Christian Character, Choosing to See the Bright Side, Trusting God | 4 Comments

Hope Wins

As long as we walk with Jesus, hope wins.

Last week, I got to watch the annual country music awards. Being a country music fan, I usually watch at least some of the show. This year I was very interested to see how they the stars of country music would deal with the tragedy in Las Vegas. As a rule, country music artists tend to be a people of faith who regularly talk about and sing about Jesus.

How do Christians respond to tragedy?

I knew I was in the right place when the very first performer, Eric Church, sang “Amazing Grace.” What other genre of music would do that? Then they led into the 90’s song, “Hold My Hand,” by Hootie and the Blowfish, but they all came together.

They sang of peace, love and harmony and holding hands.

I don’t know that any genre of music has ever taken a blow like country music took. I wrote in an earlier post about how amazing the response was from the fans at the Las Vegas shooting, how they fearlessly rescued and cared for one another. Surely Jesus was among them.

Carrie Underwood began the monologue by acknowledging the tragedies that have struck the country music family this year. She then said,”So tonight, we’re going to do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together and sing together too.”

What would our world look like if all of our families did that?

Later in the show, she sang a tribute to all of the fallen and the song chosen was an old hymn; “Softly Tenderly Jesus is Calling.”

As a society, we like to use terms like, people of faith, or believers. We don’t talk about Jesus nearly as much as we talk about the church and all of its failings. We tend to equate the church with Jesus. We forget that it’s made up of broken people. Jesus is perfect.

The Bible tells us there is power in Jesus’ name.

As I watched Carrie Underwood singing the hymn I sang in church as a child, and all of the audience standing up in silence as she sang, “Ye who are weary come home,” I was reminded of the hope we have as Christians.

Yes, this past year has been rocked by tragedy all over our country and our world, yet as always, Jesus is calling us home. He’s calling us to rest in Him and walk with Him while on this side of eternity and then invites us to stay with Him forever on the other side.

This year’s award show reminded me that no matter what, if we walk with Jesus, hope wins. Perhaps you needed reminding today.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

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Watching for Divine Intervention

God is always at work, whether we see Him or not.

I just finished doing a Bible study on the Book of Esther. It’s a short book packed with intrigue and action. It’s the kind of story Hollywood would love to tell. Although I never noticed it before, God is not mentioned in the entire story, yet Jewish historians made sure it made the Hebrew Bible.

Why would they do that?

There’s a lot of commentary on the reasons, but it seems to me that the truth is hard for any believer to miss.

The king at the time, got rid of his queen. He then, rounded up all of the young, unmarried local girls to find a replacement. Esther, a Jew, was one of the many, but the king just happened to choose her. Esther fasted several times throughout the book, something God often looked favorably upon. When the Haman was going to kill all of the Jews, Esther went before the king even though he didn’t call for her. This could have meant her death sentence, but he received her favorably. (Another coincidence?) He then offered her whatever she asked for.

Then, the king just happened to be unable to sleep one night and he just happened to ask for a book of history where he just happened to read and remember, that Esther’s uncle, a Jew, had saved his life.

Esther’s position in the palace, along with her humility towards God and the king, resulted in the deliverance of all of the Jews.

Hundreds of years later, did the Jews really need to have God mentioned to know that He provided that deliverance?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves the same questions today. What types of things have happened in the history of our own nation that could only have been Divine intervention?

What types of things have happened in our own personal history that could have only been attributed to God at work?

Things from that job offer, to spontaneous healing, to meeting our spouse, to that friend who knows us inside and out and loves us anyway, are those circumstances mere coincidences?

The believer knows that God is always at work whether humanity sees Him or not and certainly whether we acknowledge Him or not. The ancient Hebrews recognized that fact. Maybe we should be more watchful as well.

The Book of Esther reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.

Have an awesome day!

Wendy 🙂

Categories: Biblical Wisdom, Watching for God | 1 Comment